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Going social

The four faces of future work

Non-routine

Non-routine impersonal

Non-routine personal

Offshored

Remaining onshore

Routine impersonal

Routine personal

SKILLS Routine

Automated and offshored

Impersonal

Remaining onshore, low wages

DELIVERY

worldwide have been tweaked, of course, sometimes to a large extent, but have never been deeply redesigned for knowledge and skills. Knowledge must be relevant. Students’ lack of motivation, and often disengagement, reflects the inability of education systems to connect the content to the real world. This is critically important to economic and societal needs. We must rethink the significance and applicability of what is taught, and strike a far better balance between the conceptual and the practical. Skills, on the other hand, are necessary to obtain education outcomes. Higher-order skills (“21st century skills”) such as creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration are essential both for work performance and for absorption of knowledge. As noted by the OECD in its 2009 publication Learning for Jobs: “school learning is abstract, theoretical and organised by disciplines while work is concrete, specific to the task, and organised by problems and projects.” There is a good global consensus on what the necessary skills are, and how teaching methods via projects can enable skills acquisition. Of all skills, creativity holds a special place, as it is a precursor to innovation. At the country as well as the organisation level, the two have become the recognised hope for solving both employability and societal crises. It is no surprise that the 14 “grand challenges” identified by the US National Academy of Sciences all relate to innovations such as energy, information and communications technology, health, and most interestingly, personalised learning.

Personal

most employment growth is happening, in aggregate, in small and medium-sized enterprises. Even within large companies, employees are expected to innovate to justify their employment. Entrepreneurship and “intrapreneurship” are the natural engine for economic growth. Increasingly, workers will have to create their own employment, either within, or outside, corporations and small and mediumsized enterprises. On the societal front, long-term structural difficulties such as financial instabilities and global warming require creative and innovative solutions as well as collaboration on a scale seldom seen in the history of humanity. In the words of Nobel Prize winner Christian de Duve: “We

Creativity and innovation have become the recognised hope for solving both employability and societal crises have evolved traits [such as group selfishness] that will lead to humanity’s extinction—so we must learn how to overcome them.” And it is fitting to couple this last quote with Albert Einstein’s famous statement: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Recommended link 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times: www.21stcenturyskillsbook. com/index.php

On the employability front, expecting employment to come solely from large, established companies is unrealistic, as

OECD Yearbook 2012 © OECD 2012

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2012 OECD Yearbook  

2012 OECD Yearbook

2012 OECD Yearbook  

2012 OECD Yearbook

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