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Long before the outbreak of the coronavirus, the public discourse about the UK’s education and skills system was focussed on whether it is fit for present purpose or indeed equipped to face the challenges of the future: automation; the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and the future of work.
In some respects, Covid-19 has accelerated these issues. Technology has made remote working a new reality for many, though not all. But it has also demanded a re-assessment of so-called ‘lower-skilled’ employment in the face of the vital role that many have provided in health and care, food processing, food retail, logistics and other sectors.
As we emerge from the pandemic and look to economic recovery, we will need the skills to drive innovation, productivity, and growth. The priority must be to avoid mass unemployment and to re-skill people. But how might we chart a way into the unknown where the jobs of the future don’t yet exist?
This online event will explore what this new system might look like. The urgent need for an integrated tertiary education system that can respond to employer demand, provide bespoke ‘just-in-time’ training solutions, and facilitate lifelong learning.
We will discuss the future role of universities – as civic institutions and as drivers of local industrial strategy – and the need for a future funding settlement that can provide better value for students and a better fit with industry.
How might we arrive at a new social contract to address inequalities in society and our education and skills system?
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