House of Lords review: can we use technology to improve the chances of ALL young people?
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
By adopting a digital solution, we give every young person the opportunity to map out their future pathway and find the information they need to make informed decisions about their skills.
Looking back at my presentation last week to the House of Lords, it confirmed yet again that Global Bridge has the ability to provide a solution to a countrywide issue, not only by identifying skills and talent in our young people, but also by raising the aspirations of our future workforce. I was thrilled to speak to Lord Lucas, chair of the 21st Century Skills Working Group, and to demonstrate to him and his colleagues a solution, rather than merely discussing the depth of the problem.
Much of the working group’s discussion highlighted, yet again, the need to address the gaping hole that exists between skills development and the challenge of truly preparing young people for their future. It all confirmed that a digital solution is the only way of reaching the huge number of students who need advice and guidance, and ensuring that all receive the same recognition of their talents, equal visibility and access to opportunities.
Many of the issues surrounding talent identification in rural areas were discussed, along with support for young people in tough inner-city schools. How do you raise the aspirations of a young person who is the third generation of their family not in education, employment or training (NEET)? How do we ensure all young people receive the right information to shape their career pathway at the right time, and support them regardless of their background, and the support or otherwise that they receive from teachers? The repeated answer, to the issues described and many more, was Global Bridge.
we need to address the gaping hole that exists between skills development and the challenge of truly preparing young people for their future.
We identified key outcomes in a number of areas. Firstly, there needs to be a way to connect industry with a pipeline of talent, and to inform young people of what exactly it is that different companies do. A teenager with no experience of the jobs market might struggle to identify a high-street coffee chain as a company with whom to develop a career as an IT manager, and yet many of these businesses are national and even global operations, dependent on sophisticated data systems to manage sales and personnel.
Secondly, there needs to be a way of giving young people visibility of the skills required by specific industries. One difficult argument discussed was that by the time the young person leaves school or further education, the skillsets required will have changed. They need to know the skills required for certain careers and industries, and the pathways they must follow to get where they need to be, early enough to make informed decisions during their education.
Finally, we heard some great examples of good practise in schools. The reality however is that standards aren’t consistent across all educational establishments. How do we consistently provide committed, enthusiastic teaching support for all our young people, regardless of their background, gender, ethnicity and a host of other environmental factors?
How do we minimise the disparity of provision of careers advice? We can’t rely on individuals within schools to advise such a large group of young people. Teachers only know what they know. Young people are seeking opportunity, and opportunity is seeking them; who better than Global Bridge to give that young person the tailored information they need? The very nature of a digital platform means that it is available to all.
The reality however is that standards aren’t consistent across all educational establishments.
Although careers advisors and the government’s new ‘enterprise advisors’ are a great idea, these individuals are limited by their own training, motivation, professional network and experience. By adopting a digital solution, we give every young person the opportunity to map out their future pathway and find the information they need to make informed decisions about their skills.
A digital solution also gives employers the ability to let young people know what skills they require, ensuring their operational requirements are met, as well as connecting businesses to the education system to build a complete picture of education and training. Such a joined up approach ensures a smooth transition for young people from education into a skilled workforce, prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.
Ben Mason - Founder and CEO, globalbridge