According to a recent City and Guilds study, nine in ten employers struggle to recruit the skilled staff they need, and most people in the know think this problem is about to get much worse.
I’ve recently applied to become a school governor and I’m excited to be helping, in just a small way, future generations. Now whilst I’m realistic in regards to what this small role can and can’t do, I do believe that the issue with our skills gap starts at a very young age, maybe even before school.
Whilst our country is full of fantastic, committed teachers striving for excellence they are also massively constrained by the curriculum they have to teach. This is a problem widely discussed, such as in a recent report from Accenture which emphasised that “today’s education and training systems are not keeping up with the current demand for skills, let alone tomorrow’s new demands.”
I mean – is there really a need to learn about Henry VIII’s wives? How will this help children learn about creating AGI so we can help to cure diseases? Whilst I freely admit that not everything we learn at school needs to be about such a specific end goal, I feel there are ways we can shake things up to make the next generation better equipped for the world of tomorrow.
Chameleon prides itself on thinking differently: we operate within the same parameters as almost every other agency, yet we still manage to find slightly different ways to get the client the right outcome. Well, I think that we need more people within education to take on this challenge. There are some excellent examples of school programmes that are doing this so well. I think some of the work the UTC’s are doing is great and this article about the XP School in Doncaster shows that project based learning within the traditional curriculum constraints is possible. However, it is important to note that whilst I see these as success stories, others disagree. As with most innovation, not everyone thinks the same. But it is important to try and create a better future.
It is going to take more than a few stand out schools to turn the next generation into a workforce fit for purpose. Whilst it is good we understand the War of the Roses and the other things I vaguely remember falling asleep to in school, I don’t think it has equipped me with what I need to excel tomorrow. Yes, some of the wider skills are 100% important, but surely there has to be a better way. I just hope in my little corner of Farnham I can try and help make a tiny change for the better and maybe one day I can do something bigger. But for now, I’m back to the grindstone – the day job is definitely calling for people to keep thinking differently and I will leave the future of education up to the experts to do the same.