There was a good discussion the other day on Twitter that I wanted to pick up and share with a wider audience. Neil Morrison tweeted this:
The problem is that employers are waiting to be delivered the employees that they want & haven’t realised that model of education is broken.
The conversation that followed was a really good debate about what this means for businesses, what it means for the education model we have, and what we should be doing about it.
Views were coming in from a variety of people whose arguments were along the line:
– this is our children’s future, we should be doing something about this – first and foremost as parents
– if businesses don’t take the responsibility for taking action, then who will?
– what kind of skills are we talking about, and can we expect a one model fits all?
– it’s a genuine strategic HR issue that HR professionals should be tackling head on, and driving forward
– companies need to invest in the training they want to see in their workforce
– mindset is what we should be training for, not actual skills
Now, there’s more to be said about each of those statements above. They all have a solid amount of sense to them, and reasoning that you can follow through. But this was on Twitter. If you weren’t part of the conversation, didn’t check your timeline that day, not following those respective people, or just not on Twitter, you’ll have missed it. And this is far too important a conversation to have left hanging.
So an open invitation to you all to respond and share your thoughts. I think the one over-arching sentiment from the conversation is that we can make a difference to the future of learning and education. The challenge for every business will be about what they choose to do and how they choose to invest in this training.
By way of an example,when I used to deliver training for Ford Motor Co., they had a clear strategy for doing exactly this, and they’ve been doing it for decades. Their apprenticeship scheme for school leavers was one of the most sought after positions for young boys and girls wanting to develop a career in the automotive industry. If you’re accepted, you have 2 years of college to go through which is all geared towards your skills development and knowledge of what the job actually requires.
As another example, to become a teacher, everyone knows that you have to go through a process of becoming a Newly Qualified Teacher. It’s not easy, and you learn a lot, and you certainly gain the skills needed. Equally, you look at the police force, or fire service, they have very well developed training programmes.
But, these are specific sectors, who have had a long time to learn about how to make things work en masse. How would the likes of JPMorgan stack up to this? I don’t think a graduate programme answers the problem. It’s a solution, but not a comprehensive answer to the question of skills and education required to get in. What about Coca-Cola? Or Proctor and Gamble? How are they involved in developing a curricula at grass roots level that enables a whole population to stand up and know what they need to make a difference?