Make a play for new skills


For one they can’t be creative and collaborate let alone function with emotional intelligence – and those are the skills that employees of the future will need more than ever before. That’s why schools are changing to focus more on these skills, creating learning environments to develop creativity and collaboration.

Our children will most probably be employed in jobs that do not exist yet, and need these skills to cope with the changes predicted in the job market of the future.

The World Economic Forum has identified these top ten core skills to master the jobs of the future:

1. Complex problem solving

2. Critical thinking

3. Creativity

4. People management

5. Co-ordinating with others

6. Emotional intelligence

7. Judgement and decision making

8. Service orientation

9. Negotiation

10. Cognitive flexibility

Ironically, the i-Generation (i-Phone, i-Pad, i-Pod) should spend less time in front of screens and more time playing and exploring freely. Do you remember how you used to play? Creating houses and artefacts while playing in the mud, building cities in the sand, making marble runs using old boxes (now called recyclables), being send to the shop by your mom to negotiate the best price for five tomatoes, team play in the driveway - all these activities develop the skills so badly needed today. Unfortunately, school work and extramural activities allow children very little time to play freely.

So, what about knowledge then? If robots will be doing all the thinking and remembering for us, why do children still need to study facts? Gaining knowledge through studying is more about just the facts that are learnt. Firstly, it requires discipline to study, a skill that any workplace needs. Secondly, remembering facts increase your brain’s capacity and makes you smarter. Balance, as with everything in life, is key. Give your kids enough time to explore and play freely, make sure that they gain the basic knowledge needed and practice applying that knowledge on a daily basis.

If 55 creative, out-of-the-box thinkers applied for a position, I put my money on the creative, disciplined thinker who knows the answer to 120 multiplied by 90 without needing a robot’s assistance!

Five years from now, over one-third of skills (35%) that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed. Is it not time to make a play for new skills? - Alex Gray, Senior Writer, Formative Content, World Economic Forum.

Information adapted from www.weforum.org

You might want to read about fun ways to teach fractions.