Preparing students for careers that don’t exist is no simple task, especially considering that of the most in-demand roles today haven’t been all that long — think UX designers, SEO experts, social media managers and virtual assistants.
Technology is evolving faster than ever before — some jobs are disappearing, others are evolving and industries are changing quickly. It’s undeniable that AI is changing how we work and robots are replacing jobs of our parents’ generation.
As always, with change comes opportunity. A 2017 report by Commonwealth bank stated that ‘the future of work will be primarily about how people can collaborate effectively with machines to do what neither can do alone’.
Alongside Deakin and Griffith universities, Ford Australia has created an extensive report on what the workforce will look like in the coming years.
The report describes possible future roles and the skills they’ll call for, plus a quiz students can take to find out what job they’re best suited to.
According to Ford, the major drivers of change will be technological advances, climate change, data democratisation and globalisation.
The industries of tomorrow will be centred on big data, algorithms, 3D printers and prosthetics, intelligent materials and more nuanced and complex ways of communicating. The report also states that digital skills and STEM/STEAM skillsare required across all future jobs. But it’s not all robots and AI — the list features jobs like ‘100-year counsellor’, a profession that would focus on helping people in their third age.
Here is just a handful of jobs that made the list:
Chief ethics officers: Working with large companies and government organisations to ensure they are considering genuine ethical practices and adhering to corporate social responsibility.
Flood control engineer: With extreme weather events becoming more common and rising sea levels imminent, there will be demand for specialised skills in hydrology and water flow management.
Net positive architect: Designing building solutions to create viable and responsible buildings by using spatial design skills combined with knowledge of new materials, green building processes and software solutions.
Virtual surgeon: Performing complicated surgeries on patients in remote areas using robotics and virtual technologies.
Cyborg psychologists: Helping humans to accept their synthetic organs and robotic limbs.
We don’t know for sure what the future holds, but we do know that technology is only going to keep progressing and the workforce will keep changing. To view the complete list, visit
More than a third of students applying to university are setting their sights higher after using the new UCAS Hub, which brings together information and advice on all their options for life after school in one dynamic place.
It is a personalised, digital space for young people considering their post-18 choices, as well as anyone thinking about returning to education.
In a survey of those who have used the Hub so far, 39 per cent said they are now considering universities with higher entry requirements.
The Hub is designed for exploration and reflection – meant for students to return to time and time again while they make, what could be, their first life-defining decision. Most respondents agreed they would keep coming back as new features are added in the coming months and years.
Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of students are now thinking of applying to universities or colleges they hadn’t previously considered, with 65 per cent saying the Hub has expanded their knowledge of the subjects on offer at undergraduate level.
60 per cent said the Hub has made them actively think about an option that they weren’t initially considering, whether that be a different university or college, a new subject or an apprenticeship. A quarter of students specifically said they would now think about applying for an apprenticeship instead of, or as well as, a degree.
Alternative careers are also being weighed up, with almost half of students saying the Hub has helped them to reflect on their future, for when they have completed their undergraduate course.
Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said: ‘A new day has dawned as personalised information and advice arrives for all students with the UCAS Hub.
‘We want to turn the research process on its head. Rather than having to seek out information and advice, then create an application, our new Hub will instead encourage students to reflect and define what’s important to them and their future, with relevant information and ideas being offered.
‘The Hub gives students the opportunity to explore everything in one place. We’re already seeing them taking the time to delve into all available pathways and discovering the exciting routes on offer. As an independent charity, we’re well placed to offer impartial advice for students, and the Hub will help them navigate the roads ahead.’
Chris Skidmore, Universities Minister, said: ‘Students now have a wealth of different and exciting paths they can take after 18, and the new UCAS Hub provides those applying for university access to the best information and guidance for their future.
‘The Hub is not just about helping students with their applications, it is about encouraging them to aim higher and think about what they really want to get out of their future career.’
Shaun Hiscox, current student at the University of South Wales and member of UCAS’ Student Advisory Group, said: ‘I think the Hub looks fantastic. The accessible design provides an effortless transition between different sections, and the colourful style removes a sense of formality that was felt before.
‘The step-by-step process is wonderful and will help applicants stay focused. The ability to select by area and local landmarks is attractive as someone may want to live in the city and study in a busier environment, as opposed to someone else, who’d like to study near a beach. The whole overhaul looks amazing!’
Jo Moore, Progression & Employability Adviser at Exeter College said: “My team will be encouraging students to use the UCAS Hub this cycle, as having all the information, personal statement help, and courses in one place is really useful.
‘It’s a brilliant system to which I look forward to seeing progress in the future. Good job UCAS!’
Ofqual has confirmed how awarding organisations will be expected to scrutinise assessment judgements of training providers.
Ofqual has confirmed how awarding organisations will in future be expected to scrutinise the assessment judgements of training providers, schools and colleges (collectively known as ‘centres’) offering their qualifications.
Our decisions follow a consultation that ran between 25 February and 20 May 2019, and strike a balance between ensuring an appropriate level of awarding organisation control over centres while ensuring that qualification delivery meets the needs of users. This is an important issue that we are tackling within an overall strategy of improving the controls that awarding organisations have over centres.
As a result of our decisions, all awarding organisations will be required to introduce Centre Assessment Standards Scrutiny processes by no later than September 2021, although we will expect them to be working towards meeting them sooner where they can.
Through these, awarding organisations will be able to design the most effective controls for their qualifications in the context of the centres that deliver them, subject to minimum requirements.
Some qualifications – for example GCSEs, A levels and Technical Qualifications that will sit within the new T Levels, will continue to be subject to a process of moderation. This is a particular form of scrutiny, and requires awarding organisations to check the results for each group of learners, and make any adjustments they consider necessary, before they are issued. Awarding organisations may consider that moderation is appropriate for some other qualifications too. However, there are other forms of scrutiny, which could take place before or after results are issued on a periodic basis, which awarding organisations may consider more effective in other cases.
Our proposed new rules minimise the extent of regulatory burden, while ensuring that awarding organisations consider carefully the risks to qualification standards when they do not make assessment judgements themselves. We have termed this, ‘accountability for awarding’. As part of their consideration, awarding organisations will need to think carefully about how they approve centres to make these judgements on their behalf and how they use the data and evidence available to monitor these centres to make sure they are doing so effectively. We will be continuing our programme of work focussed on centre controls more broadly.
Phil Beach, Executive Director for Vocational and Technical Qualifications, said:
We have taken a thorough look at the controls awarding organisations have in place with centres in recent years. We have found some significant areas of weakness that are not contained to specific sectors or types of qualifications, and are prevalent in delivery models based on ‘direct claims status’.
We recognise that a degree of delegation from awarding organisations to centres can be necessary for some qualifications to be delivered. However, the right balance needs to be struck, and this flexibility shouldn’t come at the cost of qualification standards, public confidence or, in extreme cases, public safety. Awarding organisations must be accountable for all their qualification awards.
The September Parents’ Pack is full of useful apprenticeship information,
The edition includes ideas and top tips on where to look for an apprenticeship, an outline of the support your child can expect from their employer, an Apprenticeship Perspective interview with Akeem Graham, a camera trainee and media production apprentice with the BBC, an insight into apprenticeships in the construction industry and much more!
“It doesn’t matter what you want to be, it’s who you want to be that’s important.” David Gallagher of NCFE shares his advice on the importance of being the best version of yourself, but always being yourself.
What is it the company does?
NCFE is a national awarding organisation with a strong heritage going back over 170 years. Passionate about designing, developing and certificating diverse, nationally recognised qualifications and awards, NCFE is at the forefront of technical education and has contributed to the success of millions of learners at all levels.
A registered educational charity, NCFE is proud to be recognised for exceptional customer service and sector-leading expertise. NCFE offers an extensive portfolio of NCFE and CACHE branded qualifications covering a wide range of products and services for leaners of all ages across many subject areas and specialisms.
NCFE is also a registered Apprenticeship End-Point Assessment (EPA) Organisation, specialising in health, care, childcare and education programmes. The NCFE family of businesses also includes Skills Forward, which offers online diagnostics to support the successful delivery of Functional Skills, and Peer Tutor, a new platform offering high quality, on-demand, tech-enabled peer-to-peer tutoring support at low cost.
NCFE is committed to changing the lives of learners and supporting people to progress and achieve. The organisation’s purpose is to ‘advance and promote learning’ – with a particular focus on social mobility; supporting those who need it most to improve their career and life chances through learning.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I lead NCFE including NCFE Awarding, Apprenticeship Services, Skills Forward and Peer Tutor. My role involves me shaping the strategy and cultivating the culture of the organisation, developing the leadership and management team to be the very best they can be. I also play a leading role in the growth and continuous development of our business, balancing our social purpose and commercial objectives to ensure that we continue to make a significant impact on the lives of learners of all ages.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I joined NCFE in 2018 as managing director of NCFE Apprenticeship Services, leading a new team to deliver End-Point Assessment (EPA) solutions across a range of subject areas. I have since moved into my new role as chief executive at NCFE.
I have enjoyed a successful career in education, apprenticeships and skills for over 15 years. This has included working in the public sector for the Learning and Skills Council (now ESFA), several private sector training providers and also through establishing several successful new business startups within the sector.
In a previous role, I held a board position as group commercial director at Babington, a professional training organisation based in the Midlands. I also led the reshaping of the organisation and its proposition in response to the Apprenticeship Reform Agenda and emerging market opportunities. I successfully oversaw significant growth of the business, primarily though securing a variety of major corporate accounts. I also held board level responsibly for the creation of Babington’s innovative ‘NextGen’ blended delivery apprenticeship programmes which has received hugely positive feedback from customers and key stakeholders.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I think it’s so important to be the best version of yourself as much as you can at work and to lead by example. I believe in my actions being aligned to my words and being bold and courageous, whilst also being considered. I also think that great leaders focus on helping those around them to be the best they can be.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
I’m naturally a ‘get things done’ person and prioritising tasks when there is so much to get stuck into is a big challenge. It’s exciting, though, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The pace of our sector really keeps me on my toes!
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Spending time with my family and finding that balance between work and home is what alleviates stress for me. Taking time on an evening to cook and spend time with my wife and my two boys helps me keep a good perspective and value what is most important in life.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An archaeologist – basically because I wanted to be Indiana Jones! Then an architect and a golf course designer; I think I’ve always liked creating things.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Apathy is the enemy of energy and is something I really can’t stand. I strive to ensure that people are connected to what we’re trying to achieve and inspired to take action. We really believe in the power that learning has to change people’s lives and we’re a key part of powering education and training. So apathy is essentially our enemy because it means that power is sucked out of something that is so important.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
I believe that learning will change radically over the next five to 10 years, so I would like to think that NCFE has played a major part in developing new ideas and approaches that will create more opportunities for learning, particularly for those who need it most. I also see us being able to leverage more investment in learning through clearly demonstrating the significant positive impact that we’ve had on the lives of millions of learners in terms of their life and career chances.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
I would say to be yourself. Be the best version of yourself, but always be you. I occasionally see leaders ‘playing the role’ and it shows. Plus, it must be exhausting.
As a leader, you have such an important role in setting the tone, the mood and ultimately the culture within your organisation. So I think it’s hugely important to be optimistic, consistent, balanced and fair.
Finally, I believe that feedback can be the single most important thing that can improve your performance as a leader. So, ask for feedback and ask people to be honest. Take the feedback with openness and humility, even when it stings.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
I wish that someone had have told me that it doesn’t matter what you want to be, it’s who you want to be that’s important. We spend so much time asking children what they want to be when they grow up and that’s the wrong approach. Focusing on the kind of person they want to be should come first.
The Department for Education (DfE) recognises the vital role the workforce plays and has commissioned the Education and Training Professionals (ETP) survey to help build their understanding of the workforce and the issues it faces.
The further education sector is exceptionally important in developing a skilled workforce and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential.
In this survey, DfE wants to hear from sixth form colleges, independent training providers and adult and community learning providers.
This work is being carried out on behalf of the DfE by IFF Research, an independent research company. IFF Research has developed the survey with support from the Sixth Form College Association (SFCA), the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) and HOLEX.
The first phase of research is running throughout summer and autumn 2019, with reporting in early 2020.
Fusce et metus porttitor nibh pharetra sagittis eget ac urna. Nulla molestie urna libero, a tincidunt orci. Duis ut eros elit, non venenatis eros. Nullam id lorem at enim pretium egestas nec at nunc. Proin facilisis porttitor dolor. Ut accumsan urna vel nulla volutpat pharetra malesuada libero blandit.