A revolution in schools and colleges must take place if education is to catch up with the changing world of work, says a report to be published on Tuesday, writes Ngaio Crequer.
The report, Redefining Work, published by the RSA, follows a two-year study into the effects of changing working patterns. It was written by Valerie Bayliss, formerly director of youth and education policy at the Department of Employment.
It calls for compulsory education till the age of 18, schools and colleges becoming learning centres open to all, an education system built around information and communications technology, and a new IT-based pedagogy. There should be new competencies such as high-level literacy and numeracy, how to evaluate information, dealing with other people, how to be assertive, working in teams, and learning new skills. A new accreditation system would allow learners to build up their qualifications throughout life.
Ms Bayliss said: "In future wealth creation may not mean job creation, there may not be as many jobs around. There will still be some job-shaped jobs but it is more likely that people will work on a self-employed basis as contractors, with companies buying in their services. We are going to have access to a mind-boggling amount of information and we need to have the critical faculties to help us to evaluate it.
"We have to go back to first principles. We cannot assume that more of the same is right.
"We are talking about massive change, turning what drives the current system on its head. You could do the physical re-engineering for the price of a couple of Tridents. but it will all take about 10 years. This is ambitious but we must have the debate now," she said.
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