Schools are being urged to help prepare young people for a fast-changing jobs market and the ‘digital revolution’ by England’s new education secretary, Damian Hinds.
In his first speech since taking up the role, Mr Hinds says schools will need to build a sense of ‘resiliance’ and other skills including public speaking among students.
He added that youngsters should also enjoy a mix of ‘traditional academic subjects’.
He made the point that a large number of new jobs in future will require people with excellent digital skills and he also called for vocational training for adults to be improved.
Mr Hinds says that young people not only need the skills for writing apps but also the skills to use them effectively.
Computing lessons are necessary to help young people prepare for working
The education secretary for England says that computing lessons are necessary to help young people prepare for working in industries that are facing change by artificial intelligence.
They also need to be prepared for new technologies, including autonomous vehicles, that will also play an increasingly important part in our lives.
Mr Hinds was speaking at the Education World Forum and said schools should deliver ‘soft skills’ that enable young people to be more employable along with core academic subjects.
However, in what is his first presentation since the Cabinet reshuffle, Mr Hinds gave few clues about any change in direction for education in England.
Instead, he delivered the speech urging schools to prepare youngsters for what is a shifting jobs market and help them develop their skills in communicating and developing their character.
He said: “I suggest there’s nothing soft about these skills and the reality is that these skills around the workplace and growing resilience and character are important for those wanting to achieve in life and for our economy to be successful.”
Importance of schools setting ‘expectations and ethos’ for their students
Mr Hinds also highlighted the importance of schools setting ‘expectations and ethos’ for their students to take part in sporting activities as well as volunteer work and public speaking.
He insisted that these will help shape the ‘resilience, character and workplace skills’ that young people need.
Mr Hinds also used the speech to highlight the importance of helping adults adapt to the changing jobs market by retraining.