The lack of digital talent, school curriculums not aligned with our changing work environment, and a widening skills gap. Today many efforts are been put into becoming digital and enabling our workforce but what if we can’t find the skills and the core behavioural characteristics we need in our future workforce to innovate, research, deliver and lead in this digital world? If we can’t source this talent then our best efforts today will account for nothing tomorrow.
Also, tomorrow’s future will look very different to ours today, as we look to engage and be enhanced by our digital brethren. Not only do we need to be able to produce, innovate and build technology but we’ll also need to work with it. How can we optimize the human elements of the “art of the job” in a way that best matches the machines “science of the job”? What skills and behavioural sets will be critical in this endeavour?
But where does the buck lie? Is the dearth of corporate talent the direct failure of our primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions? Or should the responsibility to equip a digital workforce lie at the feet of big corporate, with tertiary educators simply providing an enquiring mind? Or is the sweet spot for an adequately equipped workforce the responsibility of all parties?
But what about leadership in all this? All too often we hear about equipping our digital workforce, but what about our digital leaders? The skills needed to lead and lead effectively, are complex in today’s environment and will become increasingly so in years to come. We are in desperate need of digital leaders to emerge from our future digital workforce. And the skillsets needed to innovate, research and code are often extremely different from those needed to lead. What part does our education sector have to play in equipping our future workforce and leaders for success in the complex environment of the fourth industrial revolution?
These are the questions at the forefront of industry and education leader’s minds today. And therefore change is needed. What we envision is a multi-layered hybrid learning system. One that combines industry and the education sector coming together to facilitate infant-to-retirement (and sometimes beyond) learning programs. In addition, both of these sectors will have to avoid getting stuck in the STEM trap, meaning that a pure technical based learning approach will not be sufficient. Our workforce of the industry 4.0 needs to be equipped with the technical capabilities to build out our future but also with the soft skills to lead and inspire. We as humans excel in providing the art of the job and it this, augmented by technical skills and technological innovation, that will define the fourth industrial revolution.
P.S. stay tuned for an upcoming CFoW Study into the Future of infant to retirement learning, to future proof your children and your workforce.