Are we setting up school-leavers to fail?

Are we setting up school-leavers to fail?

Consider the things our kids learn in school—how much of it is relevant to what their working lives will entail if they choose to do anything other than remain in academia?

The national curriculum hasn’t been updated for decades. Whilst there are such things as ‘coding clubs’ that go some way to addressing the digital age we live in, these tend to be extra-curricular and not across the board.

Statistics suggest that a staggering 65% of students will end up working in jobs that don’t even exist yet (however, this figure is disputed by some).

Before we form picket lines outside our children’s schools, think about how hard it would be to try and educate students for the future. Even if we were to teach children exactly what the role of a software designer entails, for example, it’s likely that the content of such learning will be obsolete by the time the student finishes school, given how fast technology develops.

Nicole Kruger, writing for the ITSE, claims that ‘by next year, there will be an increased demand for data analysts and scientists, software and applications developers and e-commerce and social media specialists. There will also be accelerating demand for new specialist roles like AI and machine learning specialists, big data specialists, process automation experts, robotics engineers and blockchain specialists.’

How are our school leavers expected to know about such disciplines, especially if, by the time a learning package is created, the information within it is already outdated?

Scott McLeod, a leader in education, suggests that the best thing schools can equip students with is resilience and the ability to adapt. If they can grasp the basics of any subject and feel confident enough to expand on it, learning such specialist roles as those mentioned above, once within the workplace, will be a lot easier.

Technology is fluid and ever-changing. If students are taught to go with the flow, to innovate and to be curious, there shouldn’t be an issue.

As recruitment web design, we’ve seen many changes since we launched our business. Certain functions, platforms and interfaces that are common today were not around when we first started out. However, with an already-inherent understanding of websites, new innovations are easy enough to master. Focusing on a niche as we do, i.e. creating sites for recruitment agencies and specialists only, also allows us to hone our knowledge and experience much faster than if we were a more generalist operation. These are some of the reasons why we instil such confidence in the clients we work with, and how we can be sure that the results they receive will be beyond their expectations.

Back to students. Tom Burkard has this view: ‘New jobs seldom differ radically from ones that already exist, and they all demand a vast base of skills and knowledge that changes slowly, if at all. Alison Wolf argues in ‘Does Education Matter’ that we would be better following the German example of restricting the classroom element of further education to traditional academic subjects, and leaving the technical training to the employer. Unlike schools, private sector employers have a strong imperative to stay abreast of change. In any case, schools do not exist to service the economy.’

He makes some interesting points there. Employers do have a vested (financial) interest in being in tune with, or ahead of, innovation and technological developments. Schools do not. Employers do not have the time to instil basic literacy and numeracy skills within their employees; schools do.

It’s clear that each plays their part in creating tomorrow’s job-seeking talent.

If you’d like an informed review of your current website, get in touch with us on 01302 288591 or complete our contact form and we’ll get straight back to you.

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