Teach young people skills robots can’t replace, report says

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The UK’s future workforce needs technical skills in areas such as computing in order to prepare for the next industrial revolution, according to a new report.

The Edge Foundation, an education charity dedicated to raising the status of technical, practical and vocational learning, said millions of jobs are at risk of ‘automation’ and called for young people to be equipped with skills that robots can’t replace. These include flexibility, empathy, creativity and enterprise.

Chair of the Edge Foundation, Lord Baker, produced an eight point plan including providing 3D printers and design software for all primary schools, reintroducing young apprenticeships at 14, blending a core academic curriculum with a day a week of technical learning and regular work experience.

He said: “The economy is changing at an unprecedented pace. Every day, jobs are being lost in professions we used to regard as careers for life. Artificial intelligence, robots, 3D printing and driverless vehicles will impact on sectors as varied as the legal profession, transport and construction.

“We should not go back to a 19th century diet of academic subjects for all. We need 21st century education for a 21st century economy.”

ASDAN’s Computing Vocational Taster is aimed at young people of all abilities, mainly aged 14 to 19. This flexible programme accredits 10 to 60 hours of activities and offers progression to other ASDAN programmes. The Taster contains six modules:

  • Infrastructure
  • Digital Media and Content
  • Web Development
  • Programming
  • Health and Safety in Computing
  • Careers in Computing

Our Enterprise Short Course is aimed at those aged 13 to 19 and has been endorsed by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs