020 7525 2895 eba@southwark.gov.uk

There are several factors that impact today’s labour market including technology, globalisation and environmental change. The world is moving fast and changes coming along with this transformation will affect jobs of the future. With the speed of technological development and the emergency of AI many jobs have become disposable but equally the innovation made work easier. Understanding that this is the direction in which we are heading, the focus of today’s education and further skills development is on STEM. Everyone needs the basic skills of navigating the digital world in today’s economy but not everyone’s natural strengths gravitate towards maths and science. Pivoting a whole generation of students towards one field can easily result in what we’re already experiencing, supply over demand leaving many out of work or in low-wage jobs. Just looking at the latest layoffs across global tech companies, spinning variety of roles and industries, simply shows that no profession is future bulletproof.


Skills for Future Jobs


We can see in which direction we are going but it is difficult to tell what jobs, not existing today, will look like in the future. What we do know however, is that regardless what this constantly evolving climate brings, all workers and their success rate have one in common, soft skills. Working with other people, directly or indirectly, learning to navigate workplace relationships, and having the ability to communicate the value of one’s work to others, will never lose its importance. In fact, the essential employment skills predicted by NFER to be imperative in 2035 are:

  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration
  3. Problem solving & decision making
  4. Organising, planning & prioritising work
  5. Creative thinking
  6. Information literacy (skills related to gathering, processing and using information)

As The Skills Imperative 2035: An analysis of the demand for skills in the labour market in 2035 outlines, there will be an increase in specialist skills going forward, especially in jobs higher up the hierarchy ladder. Nevertheless, despite the importance of specialist skills within their respective industries, they are not highly ranked amongst the most important across the whole labour market. As their nature implies, their specialisation allows them to be intensively used in specific jobs but their utilisation across all employment is low.


Supporting Young People into Successful Careers


It is young people who are affected by changes in the labour market the most, high unemployment rates and lack of good quality jobs, transcribe the trajectory of their future careers. As the International Labour Organization (ILO) describes it in its publication Youth, Employment and the Future ‘the youth are usually the first to lose their jobs in economic downturns and the last to recover’ navigating these challenges can cause ‘scarring effects manifesting in reduced employment and earnings opportunities that can last decades’. Nonetheless, the ILO research also suggests that young people are more adaptable in technology-intensive environments and might perform better in this area than adult workers.

With your help we are working to prepare young people for their future careers and help them find their place in the labour market. Offering a work experience in your organisation can help someone develop their essential employability skills and get them ready for the workforce of the future. Not only you will contribute to a better tomorrow but will benefit from the insights of the next generation in your place of business.

Alongside work experience placements that we deliver to a variety schools in and outside of Southwark, we also work with a network of talented Southwark scholars. Providing young people with scholarships enabling them to access higher education without debt, we are looking for employers from all industries who would like to offer summer internships and other graduate opportunities to exceptional young people.

If you are keen to work with young talent, please email eba@southwark.gov.uk or call 020 7525 2895 and we will discuss options that are relevant to you.

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