Jobs are changing, so should education. There needs to be long-term reform of post-16 education, to ensure our young people leave education with a broad and balanced range of skills they will need to flourish in a changing world of work. This should start with a review into post-16 learning in the next parliament.
How should education change?
- A broad and balanced range of subjects from different disciplines. Science and maths need to sit alongside subjects like English, history, geography, modern languages and the arts as part of a new style of education that is available to everyone up to age 18
- Subjects which are taught in an interconnected way, with themes linked across different disciplines
- An assessment system that allows for the teaching of skills in addition to knowledge, including problem solving, collaboration, creative thinking, communication
- A curriculum developed with input from employers, reflecting the skills and knowledge they value the most
Jobs are going to be changed by new technologies such as artificial intelligence. Some will be lost altogether and others will be created that don’t even exist yet. This poses a challenge as we think about the changing nature of the future of work, another of the Royal Society’s policy programmes.
If we want our young people to be able to succeed in this changing workplace, we need to make sure our schools and colleges are teaching them the knowledge and skills they will need. This should include the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects to 18, and to develop valuable transferable skills such as communication, problem solving, and team work.
In 2022, the Royal Society released Envision, a series of think pieces which brings together thought leaders to discuss what the UK education system should look like in order to prepare students to flourish in a changing world of work in the 21st century.