Future skills framework to be developed

Presentation skills will become increasingly important in the future.

A framework for “essential” skills – such as teamwork, presenting and problem-solving – will be developed by a new task force to help inform employers’ future hiring criteria and plans for progression.

With automation of manual tasks on the increase, the organisations developing the framework hope it will help employers hire the people with the skills needed in future; provide candidates with a better idea of the skills required to succeed in a role; and help employers map out how to upskill or reskill their workers by showing them what progression looks like for key “human” skills.

The task force comprises education and employment bodies including the CIPD, the Careers & Enterprise Company, Business in the Community, the Gatsby Foundation, the EY Foundation and the Skills Builder Partnership.

RSA chief executive and director of labour market enforcement Matthew Taylor called for a framework for skills to be introduced in his Review of Modern Working Practices in 2017.

Speaking about today’s announcement he said: “With the nature of work continuing to evolve, it is challenging to predict exactly what technical abilities and skills will be needed in years to come. However, there’s growing recognition that the core skills, which are essentially human and behavioural, will be vital in almost all jobs and roles.

“The work of the task force is an important step towards achieving a common understanding of these essential skills from education right through to our workplaces. Establishing a framework and a common language for these skills is vital in creating the clarity we need to achieve more productive, high-performing workplaces that enable people whatever their backgrounds to feel engaged and empowered in their jobs.’’

It will be based on the Skills Builder Framework, used by many teachers, which breaks down the development of eight essential skills into tangible and measurable steps.

One of the key aims of the new framework is to make educators aware of the skills employers need so that they can ensure students are equipped to join the workforce. The task force will work with employers from a range of industries to find out what these skills are, with the final version of the framework expected to be published in spring 2020.

Sir John Holman, chair of the Essential Skills Task Force, said: “If you ask employers what they are looking for in the people they hire, they increasingly specify essential skills like communication and teamwork. They take for granted that employees must have sound educational qualifications, and what makes the difference is the higher order essential skills which a machine cannot offer.”

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