Call made for urgent review of Solent work skills

Representatives from business, business support, local government, health, education and technology at Trethowans
Representatives from business, business support, local government, health, education and technology at Trethowans
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THE dramatic pace of technological change at work has led Hampshire researchers to call for an urgent shift in how employers engage with education and skills providers.

It follows a study looking at how jobs will evolve in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ era of robots, drones, driverless cars, 3D printing and other kinds of automation.

The research, involving Southampton Solent University, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Business South, examined the skills, competencies and behaviours that will be needed in the workplace over the next 10 years.

Respondents included employers from high-growth sectors of the Solent economy such as advanced manufacturing, construction, marine, aerospace, the creative industries, education, transport, information technology and health and social care.

Professor Mike Wilkinson, deputy vice-chancellor of Southampton Solent University, said: ‘The fourth industrial revolution is happening right now. Automation in the workplace has moved from something evolutionary to something revolutionary.

‘This seismic shift means that how we respond as employers and education providers is more important and urgent than ever.’

The research identified many areas where particular skills will increasingly be needed.

They include leadership, entrepreneurship, IT, science, maths, coaching, talent management, communications, customer service, sales and marketing.

Stewart Dunn, chief executive of Hampshire Chamber, said: ‘Businesses need to seize the opportunity of talking more with schools, colleges, universities and others in the world of education to provide input on the skills needed for the workplace.

‘At the same time, learners and education providers can benefit from understanding the real-world experience of employers as to how skills and competencies should be taught.’

The findings were presented to business leaders at an event held at the Hedge End offices of law firm Trethowans.

The results will now be shared with headteachers and other education and skills providers.