Skills for the future?

The basic question in education and training is: how best to give individuals the skills they need in order to help themselves and society to develop?

Sathnam Sanghera in his piece for The Times (20th July 2018) addresses this with his usual insight and sagacity.

He is quite right to say that ‘politicians are pushing the sciences and maths at the expense of arts and humanities at the precise time that technology moguls are saying that creativity and free-thinking are the things they really value.’

It is also clear that our successive governments don’t understand what skills British businesses need -even the new ‘T’ levels, the new vocational qualifications, are supposedly not worth taking up yet.

Sathnam states that ‘simply making kids study more science and maths … is not the answer; these are precisely the things that robots will be good at.’

He also points out that people being good at tech does not mean that they have the ability, according to an expert in social leaning, to ‘relate, respond and negotiate, read social cues and function in meetings.’

He suggests that a range of human skills need developing in our young, ‘such as empathy, critical thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship, cultural agility, scepticism, collaborative working, friendliness and problem-solving.’

Education needs to change, that’s for sure. Business training will need to address these soft skills too.

Image by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Published on Aug 06, 2018 by Neil Thomas