How should schools respond to the 21st Century jobs market?

A new publication from Education and Employers Research highlights the ways that schools can respond to a jobs market which has changed radically over the last generation making it more difficult for young people to compete for available employment.

How should our schools respond to the demands of the twenty first century labour market? Eight perspectives

Edited by Anthony Mann and Prue Huddleston, Emeritus Professor at the University of Warwick, the new report features interviews with eight leading commentators on the relationship of education and employment:

  • The head of education and skills at the world’s most influential international body working on these questions (Andreas Schleicher of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the head of the world’s leading academic institute focused on education (Professor Chris Husbands of the UCL Institute of Education) and the chair of Education, Training and Skills at the University of Oxford (Professor Ewart Keep)
  • Leaders of workplace membership bodies representing some 200,000 owners of small businesses (David Pollard of the Federation of Small Businesses), 135,000 professionals working in human resources (Peter Cheese of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and of six million individual employees (Kay Carberry of the Trades Union Congress)
  • The editors of the two most important international academic journals addressing these questions: Professor Lorna Unwin of the Journal of Vocational Education and Training, and Professor Hugh Lauder of the Journal of Education and Work, each of whom is a prolific and globally influential scholar exploring the relationships between education, skills and work.

Three key themes emerge from the interviews:

  • the working world is becoming more complex increasing the significance of careers education especially where it is rich in workplace contacts
  • school to work transitions are becoming ever more fractured requiring young people to leave education better equipped with recruitment skills, resilience and support into employment
  • employers are becoming more demanding seeking recruits who are personally effective in applying knowledge in unfamiliar situations raising the importance of enterprise education.

The report forms part of an ongoing project looking at how schools can best prepare young people for successful working lives.

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