In researching this post, I started with the following search in google: “20% of jobs in 2030 don’t exist yet.”

On the first page alone were two compelling articles: one of which (For) very clearly backed this up; the other (Against) took the statement to pieces.

So that’s cleared that up then!

In assessing our readiness for delivering and finding these skills for an evolving workplace, it is easy to point the finger at our education system, the national curriculum, corporate investment, or a lack of cohesion across further and greater education. In certain instances this may be justified. But if we in the talent sector don’t know what a proportion of these jobs will look like, how can it be expected that the national curriculum should?

Whilst it is fair to question the relevance of certain subjects at the expense of others and the need to supplement other subjects further, surely the priority in early years education is to develop open minds, a desire to question and the ability to adapt? Core skills that will provide the right mindset to navigate an ambiguous world.

This is actually something that I see great examples of up close as both a parent and school governor, but on a macro scale I feel it is often lost in a wider agenda.

But let’s leave the development of the curriculum and the further advances that we will see in AI, Big Data, 3D printing etc. to the people who are best placed in doing so. What I do feel well placed to speculate on, having spent over twenty years in and around sourcing the right people to perform key roles, is how important it is to be open minded if we are to allow ourselves and our people to thrive.

It is not only the needs of a business that evolve constantly, so do the needs (and expectations) of  all of us. For guidance. For feedback. For development.

There have been so many positive developments over the last ten years alone, from employee wellbeing to more meaningful CSR, though at the same time the ethical obligations in and around the application of both technology and an ever more agile workforce create a whole host of questions that must be confronted if the former is to maintain authenticity.

A second opinion, often an independent one from a completely different angle, can prove to be relevant and insightful. It is also something easily neglected as we attempt to keep pace with the field.

Our use of people, their evolving needs, what our competitors are likely to be offering them and what is most likely to retain them, it could be argued, should be the first points on the agenda. Not the reactive “what can we do to solve this” when beyond the tipping point.

In reality, this hopefully emphasises what we already know: that those who invest in themselves and their people in order to stay relevant are more likely to be the ones who give themselves the greatest chance of thriving. What we are not always as quick to recognise, however, is that the responsibility for this lies squarely with us as the individual.

Written by Dominic Cassidy, Partner: People, Leadership, Change and Transformation



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