Tuesday 6 December 2016

Flexibility is the skill that our school-leavers need the most

John Walshe

Published 23/08/2016 | 02:30

Whether they go into further or higher education, students will need to lay the groundwork of flexibility to be able to respond quickly to this changing dynamic.
Whether they go into further or higher education, students will need to lay the groundwork of flexibility to be able to respond quickly to this changing dynamic.

This year's school-leavers were very pragmatic in their college choices, with many going for careers where there are jobs at present. That's hardly surprising after the economic scare and the scarcity of jobs during the downturn. The result is that many engineering, computing, construction, business, and architecture courses all saw sharp rises in CAO entry points again this year.

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But will these jobs be as plentiful in three or four years' time when the new crop of students graduate? If the economic projections are right, they should be, even when the implications of Brexit have been worked through. That's assuming that the current Government and the next don't succumb to political pressures and let public spending go off the rails again.

However, if the past is a foreign country, the future is even more so. Those graduating in a few years' time will enter into a different world, where many new jobs have yet to be invented. The only certainty they will face is uncertainty as technological advances, globalisation, environmental changes, political factors and ageing populations alter the nature of work.

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