Retrain to do what? The jobs of the future

employment planning Jan 28, 2020

A national government retraining scheme was proposed in July last year to help those workers whose jobs will become obsolete because of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation.

Whether it will materialise following the Brexit mayhem and subsequent election remains to be seen.

Research by Oxford Economics has found that 1.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost to robots worldwide since 2000, including 400,000 in Europe, 260,000 in the US, and 550,000 in China and that a further 20 million manufacturing jobs will be obsolete by 2030 although most of these will be abroad.

There is no doubt that the future world of work, especially, but not only, in the manufacturing sector will look very different.

The drive towards aver more automation may conflict with concerns for the future of the planet and the environment but both will doubtless mean a radical rethink of economies, especially those that are dependent on consumer activity.

Demographics too will play their part as many of...

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Addressing the UK skills shortage must be high on the new Government’s to do list

Businesses’ difficulties due to the UK’s skills shortage were high on their list for prompt Government action in the run-up to last week’s General Election.

The skills shortage was said to be inhibiting SMEs’ efforts to compete in global markets, particularly in areas related to digital and new technology.

A quarterly study by the BCC (British Chambers of Commerce) published in November found that 73% of firms that attempted to take on extra workers faced recruitment difficulties in Q3, up from the 64% recorded in Q2.

The skills shortage was compounded, according to Grant Thornton, by a low take-up of the cash available to businesses from the apprenticeship levy with almost half of eligible businesses having not yet spent the money available to them for workplace training.

This week, the Evening Standard carried a letter from Andrew Harding, chief executive – management accounting, at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, urging the new...

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Work experience – between a rock and a hard place

employment Aug 15, 2019

Earlier this year the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called for compulsory work experience to be reintroduced for all children aged 14 to 16.

The Government ended schools’ obligation to provide compulsory work experience in 2012.

Since then, although many schools do still try to arrange some work experience, the responsibility for finding placements has rested largely on parents and pupils themselves.  In fact, according to the organisation Changing Education “Ofsted has identified that 75% of schools are failing to provide adequate work experience programmes”.

In 2015 the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) questioned the wisdom of the 2012 decision, following a study of members that found that “most firms and education leaders believe secondary schools should offer work experience for under 16-year-olds”.

John Longworth, who was then the director general of the BCC, said: “Business and school leaders are clear – we won’t...

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