We need a broader range of skills

www.nesta.org.uk/report/precarious-to-prepared/we-need-broader-range-skills/
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To help young people to prepare for uncertainty around future employment, the education system must teach a much wider range of skills, including social and emotional skills and creativity.

Nesta’s collaboration with Pearson and Oxford Martin School of Business showed that in the future there will be high demand for interpersonal skills, such as collaboration and coordination; higher-order cognitive skills, including fluency of ideas and originality; and systems skills, for example judgement and decision making. At the moment, learners are not being consistently supported to develop those skills.

Recent OECD research shows that the UK has the highest level of prevalence of memorisation in classrooms, which has also been shown to reduce a child’s ability to solve problems and think critically. Countries like Japan and China that used to depend on rote learning have shifted to a much greater emphasis on understanding and critical thinking.

At Nesta, we have focused on ways to embed these skills in the school system, developing a toolkit to equip teachers, parents and carers with the latest information about the changing world of work and the skills that will be in demand in the future. Through the Future Ready Fund we’ve also supported a number of high-potential interventions that promote wider skills in young people aged 11-18, especially social and emotional skills and resilience.

To ensure that young people have the chance to learn and develop skills relevant for the future, we are calling for:

  • The Department for Education to create a digital-complementary skills framework that can be used by industry and training providers to ensure skills such as creativity, complex problem solving and collaboration are taught across the school curriculum and adult-learning systems.
  • Schools to embed evidence-based solutions for teaching these same skills, drawing on resources such as Nesta’s toolkit.
  • Employers to invest at scale in the development of young people’s creativity and problem solving skills outside the classroom, for example, through initiatives that Nesta has pioneered: competitions like Cracking the Code, a competition for children to design maths-based escape rooms, and the Longitude Explorer Prize, which challenges 11-16 year olds to solve problems using satellite data, Internet of Things technologies and AI.

Authors

Ksenia Zheltoukhova

Ksenia Zheltoukhova

Ksenia Zheltoukhova

Acting Chief Scientist

Ksenia is Nesta's Acting Chief Scientist.

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Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan

Chief Executive Officer

Geoff Mulgan was Chief Executive of Nesta from 2011-2019.

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Jack Orlik

Jack Orlik

Jack Orlik

Programme Manager - Open Jobs, Data Analytics Practice

Jack is the Programme Manager for Open Jobs.

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Olivia Chapman

Olivia Chapman

Olivia Chapman

Senior Programme Manager, Future of Work

Olivia Chapman is a Senior Programme Manager at Nesta.

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Joysy John

Joysy John

Joysy John

Director of Education

Joysy was the Director of Education and led Nesta's work in education across innovation programmes, research and investment.

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Madeleine Gabriel

Madeleine Gabriel

Madeleine Gabriel

Mission Director, A Sustainable Future mission

Madeleine leads Nesta’s mission to create A Sustainable Future, which focuses on decarbonisation and economic recovery.

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Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Centre Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC); and Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics, Nesta

Hasan oversees Nesta's creative economy policy, research and practical work.

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