Learning company Pearson and innovation foundation Nesta today announce a research partnership in collaboration with Michael Osborne (Oxford Martin School) which is designed to provide businesses, governments and education experts with new insights and evidence about the skills and competencies which will be required in the future economy.
Through Employment in 2030: Skills, Competencies & the Implications for Learning, the research team will provide recommendations for how education, job training and other workforce development efforts in the US and UK can shift practice today in an attempt to better prepare the workforce of tomorrow.
“Businesses, governments and schools are struggling to adapt to the pace of change required to prepare the workforce of tomorrow. This world-class research partnership provides an opportunity for us to learn now about the skills and competencies that will be needed tomorrow - and to prepare accordingly.” - Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor to Pearson
At the heart of the research are two cutting-edge methodologies that are rarely combined:
- foresight exercises featuring sector experts who will examine the trends that will shape the jobs market in the future, how they will interact, and what that means for the demand for different types of jobs; and
- a machine learning algorithm deployed on O*NET data (a US Department of Labor occupational database that offers a wealth of insights into the skills and competencies required for nearly 1000 occupations).
Through this novel methodology the research team will be able to predict the likely demand for different skills, and skill combinations, for the jobs economy of 2030.
“This research will provide a substantial contribution to answering some of the most pressing questions that education faces. By extending beyond the effects of automation to examine the wider set of profound trends that will shape the demand for skills in 2030, and by coupling expert foresight exercises with machine learning, we will be able to surface novel insights that policy makers and practitioners can have the confidence to act on.” - Hasan Bakhshi, Senior Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics, Nesta.
The project builds on Carl Benedikt Frey and Osborne's seminal 2013 paper on The Future Of Employment, in which they found that up to 47 percent of total US employment is at risk from computerization. It also extends the existing collaboration between Hasan Bakhshi and Michael Osborne , who worked with Carl Benedikt Frey (of the Oxford Martin School) to detail the power of creativity - read in a wide sense - to future-proof work. 
"I am optimistic that there will still be plenty of good jobs available in fifteen years’ time, but it's clear that many of these will require mixes and depths of skills that are currently rare. To plan for this, we need greater insight into what these skill combinations will be. We also need learning - across ages and stages - to begin to prepare for these probable futures." - Michael Osborne, Oxford Martin School.
Pearson and Nesta will share the findings of this research publicly in order to facilitate dialogue with educators, policymakers and others who seek to understand the impact of technological advancements on the future jobs economy, and the implications for how education can best be organized to prepare learners today for the jobs of tomorrow.
About the Research Team
The research team is made up of Jessica Bland (Nesta), Dr. Michael Osborne (Oxford), Philippe Schneider (independent researcher), and Mark Griffiths (Pearson). It is led by Hasan Bakhshi (Nesta).
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. Learn more about Pearson, visit http://www.pearson.com/ @pearson
Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833. www.nesta.org.uk / @nesta_uk
About the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford
The Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford is a world-leading centre of pioneering research that addresses global challenges. The School invests in research that cuts across disciplines to tackle a wide range of issues including climate change, disease, cyber threats, and inequality. Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne are Directors of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment, which was established in 2015 with support from Citi. www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk / @OxMartinSchool