Android developer. Data scientist. User interface designer. Big data architect. Cloud services specialist. These roles barely existed in 2008. Today they are some of the fastest proliferating job titles among LinkedIn’s 250 million users.
The world of work is changing, and the pace of change is accelerating. The internet and cloud computing have transformed many industries. In coming decades areas such as robotics, digital fabrication and biotechnology will further revolutionise the way we live and work.
One of the UK’s biggest challenges is ensuring that workers have the right skills to match the rapidly changing needs of industry. Innovation is essential for economic growth, but many organisations are struggling to recruit workers with the right STEM (science, technology engineering and mathematics) skills.
In a recent NEF survey, only 23 per cent of UK based companies said they were recruiting people with the right skills, and 85 per cent said that the current STEM curriculum in FE colleges did not fully meet their requirements.
This skills gap will continue to widen unless urgent action is taken.
The NEF believes that a new generation of advanced technicians, able to innovate and invent, could make a valuable contribution to the vibrancy and growth of many technology-driven sectors.
We hosted a Think Tank, Inventing the Future, at the Royal Society to explore how further education courses can better support industry.
The Think Tank was chaired by Baroness Verma of Leicester, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Educational specialists and senior figures from a diverse range of sectors are attending.
Stay tuned for our detailed research report on this topic which will published in June 2014!