Education Day 2022: Key takeaways on skills opportunities and lifelong learning
The recent Education Day event at #UKHouse22 saw research experts, policymakers and investors discuss how education, skills training and research can support sustainable growth across the Commonwealth.
Speaking as part of a panel on the topic of “Professional and Future Facing Global Skills Opportunities”, our International Programmes Manager, Mike Potts, discussed the importance of skills opportunities and lifelong learning alongside the following industry experts:
- Anne Francke, Chief Executive of Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – Chair
- Ed Almond, Chief Executive and Secretary of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) - Panellist
- Rob Deri, CEO of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT – Panellist.
Below, you’ll find some of our key takeaways from the Education Day panel discussion.
The importance of lifelong learning
Kicking off the discussion, Anne Francke highlighted how lifelong learning is “even more important than ever before”, following recent stresses such as Covid recovery, global conflict and the current cost of living crisis. Anne outlined that the idea of investing in people is critical in helping us to confront these global crises, stating that “individual prosperity, our national success, and international cooperation (and indeed, domestic collaboration), all depend on it.”
But how do we achieve this? As we continue to face huge gaps in workforce skills, lifelong learning opportunities such as upskilling and retraining provide a fantastic opportunity to tackle future-facing global skills opportunities. NCFE provides many opportunities in this area and we’re real ambassadors for the benefits that upskilling and retraining bring – you can find out more about what we offer in this area here.
L-R: Anne Francke, Rob Deri, Mike Potts, Ed Almond
Careers are no longer linear
Another discussion point was around how linear careers – that is, career paths within one occupation where the focus is on moving up over time – are becoming a thing of the past. Today, says Mike Potts, “it’s more of a squiggly line career path!” This is exacerbated further by research which suggests that 85% of the jobs that will be available in 2030 don’t yet exist.
This is why NCFE is looking to develop a series of occupational maps, which not only outline career progression paths within a particular occupation, but also show what you might want to do if you plan on changing your profession. Our Curriculum Maps have been well received by the Department for Education (DfE), and we continue to seek partners to input their expertise into this project – as movements need collaborators.
If you’d like to get in touch with us about collaborating on this project, please contact Mike Potts at [email protected].
Meeting the needs of emerging skills
Discussing the topic of emerging skills and the importance of access to these, Rob Deri explained how “we’re working in a world where tech is evolving so quickly that new disciplines are coming up, but they’re spread across everything that we do - they don’t exist in isolation.” Giving an example, he notes how digital and cyber skills are needed across every organisation – some roles will of course require a deeper knowledge than others, but the need for these skills continues to grow and embed itself across all sectors and levels, beyond just digital.
We're also seeing this trend at NCFE, both internationally and domestically, through the repeated demand for three skills areas: digital, sustainability and essential skills (transferable skills that help with lifelong learning and employability). This is why we’re weaving all three of these elements throughout all product developments and across all sectors – Mike explains: “So within early years education qualifications, there’ll be elements of digital, of sustainability, and of essential skills, for example.”
To catch up and watch the session, you can go to the Education Day homepage and register to gain access. You can also read more about the work we do internationally here.