The workplace as we know it is changing rapidly. Automation, robotics, and mechanisation are reducing jobs at a rapid rate, particularly in the clerical and vocational fields. This means that our children are facing a changing world of work, where they will be competing not just equally qualified candidates, but with technology as well. The advent of artificial intelligence and a host of other technologies typical of the 4th Industrial Revolution have impacted our future job seekers. They need to hone a very particular set of skills if they are to be successful – and indeed employable!  Amongst these skills are those considered “soft skills” – and they are game-changers, poised to become the essence of future business growth.

So where should we be focussing our educational development for children entering this new work era? Well, several sources have sited the P21 Organisation’s 4 C’s – Communication, Creativity, Collaboration and Critical Thinking. In addition to these, the World Economic Forum’s 21st Century Skills have been highlighted as key. These encompass the above skills but go further and mention skills like People Management, Emotional Intelligence, Service Orientation, Negotiation and Cognitive Flexibility. The WEF’s Future of Jobs report – issued in 2016 – has listed these skills as crucial for job seekers from 2020. It further predicts that 5 million occupations will no longer exist before 2020 as artificial intelligence and robotics replace human employees. However, more than 2 million jobs will also be created due to this adjustment, many of these not yet in existence. Exclusively human skills will become increasingly valuable and sought after. These social and emotional skills are skills that may seem inherent – however, as with any other skills, they need to be identified, practiced and perfected.

Broken down, these skills make perfect sense, as they highlight the unique human qualities we possess over technology, and while an appreciation and understanding of technology is key for the future, these human skills are what will set our children apart. In short, these skills are the cornerstone of successful social interactions combined with a clear and innovative mindset.

These skills are not developed traditionally in classrooms – no matter how key they are for future success. Teachers are under immense pressure to teach curriculum content, and with every “new” initiative to teach new skills to children, teachers are simply placed under more and more pressure. Honing these 21st Century skills therefore requires a more lifelong learning approach – and the approach in inculcating these skills requires new learning technologies and an advanced and immersive pedagogical approach.

Arc Skills has launched a new innovative approach to instilling 21st Century skills in children – from grade 2 all the way to Matric – and beyond. This cutting edge approach begins in a child’s early school career and begins with instilling values – and these foundations are then built on year on year, exposing children to a wide variety of concepts, like emotional intelligence, cultural diversity, collaborative work, digital civics and awareness, conflict resolution and negotiation. Later in the child’s school life, more advanced and harder skills are introduced, readying children for the future world of work.

Named SOAR, this programme is an essential stepping stone for children who need to be competitive in a shrinking global economy. It provides them with the skills they need to differentiate themselves, from the interview process to promotion.

To investigate this programme – or to implement it at your school, contact May Alli at Arc Skills on (011) 454 5505 or may@soarskills.co.za

ENDS

The above content was provided by Arc Skills. Click here to view their profile on SchoolAdvisor.

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