Preparing learners for the future of work

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Tang Yau Hoo New Horizons

The changes to the world of work in the last 10 years have been vast. We have seen a universal adoption of mobile technology and the rise of professional networking sites means the way we’re recruited is changing.

Office space has been re-defined. Employers are championing environments that promote creativity through flexible and remote working. We’ve seen an increase in job titles focused on the latest technologies, with an estimated 10 devices per person connected to the internet by 2025 worldwide.

The type of employment is changing, with the number of ‘side hustlers’ on the increase, a third over the last decade. Employers are getting used to the idea of intrapreneurship and business owners are on the increase, with one in seven of those in employment currently self-employed. In the last ten years self-employment has reached 4.6 million, a record high. And why not? A recent The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) populous survey found that 84% agree that being self-employed meant they were more content in their working lives.

“In the last ten years self-employment has reached 4.6 million, a record high”

What will the jobs landscape look like in another 10 years? No-one can say with confidence, and so what better way to ensure your students are equipped for the unpredictable future than with the development of enterprise skills? Whether they want to be their own boss, or work for a leading company, we must prepare them for a new world of work, and equip them with the skills and attitude to navigate this changing environment. We can begin by helping our learners to master the eight enterprise capabilities:

  1. Being creative
  2. Problem solving
  3. Aiming high
  4. Staying positive (and being resilient)
  5. Listening and understanding
  6. Presenting
  7. Working in a team
  8. Leading

Learning is more beneficial when your students have ownership; it makes it relatable and practical. This is exactly what enterprise education is. It opens doors and provides alternative pathways; encouraging, educating and empowering you to improve your skills and employability prospects. Having an entrepreneurial mindset doesn’t only benefit the individual but — according to the European Commission — positively impacts local labour markets and economies; investing in enterprise education is one of the highest return investments in Europe.

The Peter Jones Foundation, one of the partners of BTEC Business, exists to improve the socio-economic outcomes for young people by equipping them with enterprise skills that will improve their life chances, whatever path they choose. This is achieved through their flagship programme, Tycoon, a free national enterprise competition for young people aged 6 to 18. Students form a business, write a business plan, receive a goodwill loan, trade in the real world and compete via a safe and controlled online platform, before reflecting on the skills that they’ve developed.

Tycoon holds the eight enterprise capabilities at the core of its learning and provides an opportunity to develop the skills to succeed in life, but also a safe space to fail. This year, well over 2,000 students took part in the competition, across nearly 200 schools and colleges. Over 90% of students said the competition had made them more employable and would recommend to a friend. Tycoon is not only encouraging students to gain skills for employment but also to create entirely new ones.

We may not be able to predict what the next 10 years will look like, but with an enterprise education you will take ownership over your future. Whatever path you choose, ensure you are fully prepared for the future of work by improving your capacity for enterprise.

By Rachel Stovold, Programme Manager Tycoon, Peter Jones Foundation.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in these blogs belong solely to their authors, and are not necessarily those of Pearson.