I recently wrote about the upcoming gathering of the Emsi community on May 15th-16th in Birmingham to discuss the theme of Tomorrow’s Workforce. I thought it might be helpful to share some little previews of what we will be exploring together, in the hope that it might inspire you to come along and join in the discussion.
A prerequisite of responding to the changing shape of Tomorrow’s Workforce is to first explore what it might actually look like, or least get a feel for the direction of travel. For this we turn to Elena Magrini, who is a Policy and Research Analyst at Centre for Cities, the think tank dedicated to improving the performance of city economies in the UK. Elena, who leads on education, employment and skills, will be sharing with us her thoughts on the changing demand for skills in terms of regional variations, the rise of analytical and interpersonal skills, and how the skills components of occupations have changed in the last decade. She will also be addressing how the current education system is geared to coping with changing skills, and how it will need to change to place a far greater emphasis on lifelong learning, and supporting people in the labour market to adapt to changes.
Much of Elena’s talk will be drawn from the report she co-authored in 2017 for Centre for Cities — Can cities outsmart the robots? — which looks at the issue of automation and the changes in the division of labour that this brings. According to the report:
“Analytical and interpersonal skills are becoming increasingly important in all UK cities. In recent years, technological change has meant that interpersonal and analytical skills, such as negotiation, coordination and critical thinking — skills that complement machines — have become more important, whereas physical skills have decreased in demand.”
This sets out an interesting challenge given that so much of our current labour market, and so much of our education and training system (built largely on the past and present), is skewed towards the skills that can and are being made redundant through automation and computerisation. To add even further complexity, this picture varies greatly across different localities.
I personally can’t wait to hear Elena’s thoughts on this critical starting point in thinking about the skills of the future, and how her thoughts will then lead into the second keynote — Developing Tomorrow’s Workforce — which I’ll tell you about in the next blog post.
So don’t miss out on joining Elena, along with the wider Emsi community, in exploring Tomorrow’s Workforce. Book your place by clicking on the button below, and be sure not to delay as there are now less than 15 places available!