Research shows that there is clearly still a gap between education outcomes and what labour markets need. It can sometimes seem that industry and education don’t always always “speak the same language”, and there is a need to understand the challenges that each side face. To continue to work towards mutual value, both parties need to listen and be open to working collaboratively.
Employability must drive the education agenda
At Pearson, employer involvement is always a core feature of Higher National development, which highlights one of the ways in which we are working to ensure that learner outcomes are met. As an example, our new BTEC Higher Nationals in Cloud Computing have been developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
This is a concrete example of employer-education partnerships succeeding in real-life; two organisations working together to reach a shared goal. In this specific case, the objective was to build a talent pipeline within the cloud computing sector, a skill which has become ever-more important this year.
These new qualifications brought together expertise from AWS and education knowledge from Pearson, producing a clear route to employment for learners. What’s more, this is a clear focus within the technological sector, showing the Pearson commitment to skills of the future. On this theme, it is vital for education to be aware of data insights and staying on top of new developments within a sector that is constantly changing, and at such a rapid pace.
However, whilst it is important to mention key hard skills that will be required in the future, panellists reminded the audience that we must not forget the value of soft skills which are applicable across all industries, such as communication and problem-solving. Indeed, colleagues at Pearson have been working with over 25 organisations to look at three key themes within the sector.
The first collaborative piece to come out of this group will be a Soft Skills Framework, against which employers can benchmark their learning. More information about this will be released shortly.
Naturally, we should mention COVID-19, and its impact on these types of partnerships. As a general consensus, most will agree that the pandemic has accelerated change that was already happening before in the educator sector. Given the challenges that COVID-19 has presented, people and organisations are questioning the value of education and considering their investment.
So, what is the future likely to bring? In a need to drive economic recovery, there is an increased appetite to collaborate, as well as increased opportunity to do this with online working. Furthermore, it is likely that the future of the workplace is likely to look quite different; increased homeworking, short-term contracts and staff who continuously learn and refresh their skills.
Underpinning all of this is the clear vision that Pearson have within the sector; a commitment to lifelong learning, through collaboration insight and innovation.
Interested in knowing more?
We recently spoke on this topic at the prestigious ASU & GSV virtual summit, for which Pearson was a sponsor. It was a fantastic opportunity to initiate these conversations and engage in the topic on a broader scale, at a conference which reached over 30,000 registrants.
You can watch the session online - Collaboration between education and industry: maximising the employability agenda.