Addressing the mismatch between children’s job aspirations and the labour market demand
by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village
A joint report by the OECD and the UK-based charity “Education and Employers” was presented in Davos at the World Economic Forum 2019 on January the 23rd. The report is inspired by a survey of 20,000 primary school children called “Drawing your future”, organised by Education and Employers. The competition revealed that the jobs children chose were based on those their parents or people from their immediate environment do, and that their career aspirations had little in common with projected labour market demands. The report says giving all children, regardless of gender and social background, the same opportunities to meet professionals in a variety of fields, is the key to widening their view of the world of work.
Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, and Nick Chambers, CEO of Education and Employers, in the intro to the report say that it offers “a glimpse of how children see their future, and the forces that, if properly understood and harnessed, will drive them forward to realise their dreams”. It is only through concerted actions by educators and business leaders, they say, that we can help children develop the kinds of skills needed not only to weather, but to take advantage of the 4th industrial revolution. “The future will be about pairing the artificial intelligence of computers with the cognitive, social and emotional capabilities of humans, so that we educate first-class humans, not second-class robots”. Ultimately, “it is our responsibility to help our children get ready for their future”.
Photo: Cover of OECD report