I recently facilitated a forum entitled the Skills for the New Industrial Revolution as part of the European Commission’s Mission Growth conference in Brussels. I was fortunate to have senior representatives from industry, government and academe along with a sample of Europe’s future workforce.
It is already apparent that the compassionate European skills agenda in place since the seventies, whereby the focus is on the disadvantaged rather than the ‘A team’ has not been successful. So whilst we must continue to focus on ensuring for example that our unemployed do not become unemployable, we must devote more attention to being world class if we want to remain part of the global value chain.
Whilst the aforementioned point focuses on the skill s of the individual, all such initiatives will come to nothing unless we have strong management in place. Management and equally importantly leadership skills acquisition must not be left to chance. Allocating management roles to staff based solely on their experience is a recipe for disaster.
And neither of the aforementioned points will amount to anything if the skills policies are not in place at a national and trading block level. In fact the politicians must only be allowed to take up their positions if they have the skills needed to devise sensible policy.
Given that know the experiment to skill the nation from the ground up has failed, we can focus our attention on driving change from the top down.