Schools and employers must work together

By Dr Siobhan Neary, Associate Professor and Head of the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), University of Derby.

The world of work is changing. This is not a new idea. The world of work has always been evolving but the pace of change feels much quicker. If we think back, the move from an agrarian economy to mechanical production began circa 1784. Within 100 years we moved to mass production and the division of labour as individuals undertook tasks as energy sources changed how we worked, as we moved from horses to steam. We have since experienced an industrial revolution in the 1960s which saw the introduction of technology and we are already entering industrial revolution 4.0 where digital and cyber-physical systems will become dominant. Throughout each phase of industrial revolution, the credentialisation of jobs has increased aligned with the requirement to develop new and increasingly advanced skills to enable us to function within the new working context. The master and apprentice model was the traditional

mode of training which dates to the medieval craft guilds which managed and controlled access to the various trades. The first national training system was established in 1563 and required by law that apprenticeship training lasted seven years and that masters had a maximum of three apprentices. This was repealed over 250 years later due to concerns over the exploitation of apprentices. Apprenticeships became the main route to access a wide range of professions including new and evolving industries such as engineering, ship building and to trades such as plumbing and electrical work. In the early 1900s there were over 340,000 apprentices every year while over one-third of boys in the 1960s left school to start an apprenticeship. However, this model of training was no longer perceived by employers as meeting their needs as it was felt to be too long and inflexible. Apprenticeships as a form of training went in to abeyance until the introduction of modern apprenticeships in the 1990s. Apprenticeships were not the only way young people

accessed training, as further education colleges became a key provider of post-14 education after the war. Increasingly the FE sector was perceived as being able to provide the skills and training that could be tailored to meet local employer need. The impact of high youth unemployment has perhaps had one of the biggest influence on Government intervention in training with the introduction of the youth opportunity (YTS) in 1983. This was aimed at addressing both youth unemployment and the lack of skilled workers required in the economy. There is not sufficient space here to explore in detail the history of training and development for young people, however it is clear that education-to-work transition has always been dynamic and never more important as we move towards the fourth industrial revolution.

44 business network June 2018

‘Currently young people and their parents/carers face a myriad of choices in trying to understand the labour market’

If we consider the third industrial revolution (circa 1969)

located us within an automated and electronic mode of work it is only a short time before we have entered the next revolution which is positioning us inexorably towards cyber-physical systems and the knowledge that we don’t know what jobs are going to look like more than five to ten years in the future. Allied with this are several other factors which need to be considered, the precarity of work, globalisation, technology and not least of all how young people themselves perceive their future in society and work. These all contribute to creating many challenges for the economy to ensure that we have the right people with the right skills in the right jobs. It would be wrong to think this is just an issue about

young people, it is much more complex than that and we need to factor in the decreasing number of young people, but also the potential impact of Brexit and the increase in the number of older workers to name a few of the dominant drivers in the current debate. Here we will concentrate on initial education-to-work transitions and the contemporary challenges being faced. Choice is a major issue for young people – there are

many choices that need to be made. What career do I want to do? Will there be jobs in this area when I finish training? Where do I want to continue my learning? What do I do next? Currently young people and their parents/carers face a myriad of choices in trying to understand the labour market and where they need to invest their limited resource to maximise future career prospects. In the UK alone there are significant regional employment disparities, with London and the South East often attracting the highest levels of job increases and salaries in the UK. Education and employers therefore have a huge task in

not only supporting young people and their parents/carers to make choices but to ensure young people have the skills, knowledge and behaviours to effectively transition into work. In recent years, the school/employer relationship has been redefined as being the catalyst that will increase awareness of the range of opportunities for young people, raise their aspirations, challenge stereotyping and contribute to greater equality for all. This is a tall order. For schools, the challenges are multiple in achieving these goals, not least is lack of funding and contentious policy agendas which have polarised educational

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72