02 Nov, 2012

British flair

At the recent Youth Enterprise Live show groups of young adults heard some strong advice about what it will take for British companies and British workers to succeed in the workplace of the future.

Dr Carl Rohde, an eminent futurologist, warned that hard work and competitive prices alone won’t be enough to succeed, unless creativity and innovation is added into the mix.

However in a recent survey from AXA Business insurance, less than 1{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e} of parents picked creativity as a key skill for a successful working life for their children, although 80{6060b2de664e4eaa3e7b7e86961ce2c4bbd7a29b6c1097abf8257a4e5b07383e} chose hard work.

Most parents say they are actively teaching their children about hard work, reliability and responsibility, but is this enough?

Dr Rohde says not. He says there will be four different working layers of society in the future and predicts :

  1. 1 A rise in the number of well-paid professional and managerial jobs
  2. 2. A decline in the number of middle paid and skilled jobs
  3. 3. A rise in the number of routine low paid service jobs
  4. 4. A growth in the number of ‘bad jobs’ that offer poor conditions of work, minimal rights and little security.

Rohde says, “To be able to compete in the top layer you must add creativity and innovation to hard work. I see the world becoming flat and competition for these jobs will be truly global. At the other end of the scale, work in some of the layers will not be a good place to be.”

He talked about a variety of innovations from around the world from 3D printing of buildings which is set to revolutionise the construction industry to collective problem solving, putting a server farm underneath a church to provide free heating. He also challenged delegates to think about making every day experiences more innovative and exciting, showing some spectacular interactive staircases to illustrate his point.

AXA’s survey found that less than a quarter of parents think it is primarily their responsibility to teach their children about new things.  Instead they feel it is up to the schools and colleges, but how much emphasis is put on these skills in the school curriculum?

Some schools are tackling this head on. The Aldridge Foundation sponsors entrepreneurial academy schools and sees creativity as a key attribute in developing self-starting, highly motivated and confident people who can make full use of every opportunity for personal and community success.  Sophie Gaston, Director of Programmes at the Aldridge Foundation says “Creativity is one of the six entrepreneurial skills developed through everything we do, inside the classroom and outside.”

Darrell Sansom, Managing Director, at AXA Business Insurance commented, “What Dr Rohde said was very thought provoking. We have a history of creativity and innovation in this country and we need to make full use of that strength to give our young people and small businesses the best chance of success in the future workplace.”

Credit: onrec.com

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