Seeking 21st century skills

Seeking 21st century skills

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Occupations in sales, customer service and administration are threatened by technological advances like intelligent personal assistants, while the development of self-driving cars puts drivers and workers in routine-intensive occupations at risk. But watch out, jobs relating to finance, comprise tasks that may easily be automated, according to The Future of UK Skills report from Nesta, the Oxford Martin School and Pearson.

“There is a more uncertain outlook for workers in associate professional & technical occupations, and in caring, leisure and other service occupations,” researchers say. “This makes sense as both groups face major structural changes, in the form of technological advances and an ageing population.”

But what are the 21st century skills workers need?

Top social abilities include teaching (instructing), adjusting to others' actions (co-ordination), assessing others' performance (monitoring) and providing motivation (management of personnel resources). Top cognitive skills include coming up with multiple ideas (fluency of ideas), deriving novel solutions (originality) and understanding new information (active learning).

For future-proofing, the report suggests that workers in elementary occupations and skilled trades would benefit from refining their strength and dexterity. In contrast, professional workers and those occupied in administration should focus on developing their resource and time management skills.

And now it’s time for two new occupations that are likely to emerge in the future.

The first is an ‘immersive experience designer’, who combines creative and tech-based skills. This new occupation is closest to an artist or photographer.

The second new occupation combines hospitality and management, and demands an effective sales person who can solve problems and act decisively. It is similar to a catering or retail manager.

Image: Nesta

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