The skills required to thrive in today’s workplace have shifted in response to technological advances over the past few years and education providers have a duty to flex and adapt to employers’ demands.
That’s the message from Jisc’s head of FE and skills, Paul McKean, as he today (13 October 2020) addressed the Westminster Higher Education Forum’s event, 'Next steps for the further education sector in England - governance and finances, enhancing provision, and priorities for the FE white paper'.
At the event, chaired by Ben Bradley MP and Toby Perkins MP, McKean spoke alongside sector leaders such as CEO of the Association of Colleges (AoC), David Hughes, and Lewis Cooper of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, which is supported by Jisc.
During his keynote presentation, Education 4.0: FE and the fourth industrial revolution, McKean emphasised that the need for digital vocational skills are increasing.
Advocating a personalised approach to future teaching and learning, enabled by technology, he stressed the need for intelligent digital and physical estates that work together and are responsive to individual student journeys and interactions.
McKean encouraged attendees to think about how teachers could focus their efforts on integrating technologies emerging from Industry 4.0, such as artificial intelligence, and how they can help boost learners’ experience.
Themes of the speech build on the findings of Jisc’s recent research project, shaping the digital future of FE and skills, conducted over the summer in conjunction with the AoC.
The project’s first eponymous report feeds into Jisc’s FE and skills strategy, due to launch later this month, which will provide a roadmap for the sector’s digital evolution over the next three years and beyond.
The event was attended by influential stakeholders and policymakers, including parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from the Department for Education. It presented an important opportunity to cohere opinions on the future of the FE sector ahead of the government’s FE reform white paper, due later this autumn.