Skills London 2018: A message to political, business and education leaders

Future of Work insights

In November I had the pleasure of joining our team of Deloitte apprentices at Skills London, the UK’s largest jobs event for young people, speaking alongside Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Jasmine Whitbread, CEO of London First. I was honoured to have the opportunity to share my views on the importance of supporting our future workforce, particularly at a time when many young people are making key career choices and deciding whether to continue with their education or start an apprenticeship.

I also spent some time chatting to our own apprentices about their experiences working at Deloitte. The sense of excitement from the young people about to embark on their careers was inspiring, particularly as there is now such a host of opportunities available to them.

In all of my discussions, the message I kept coming back to was that no matter the role, the importance of continued development will be key. The pace of change will continue to grow and with the automation of repetitive tasks, there will be even more emphasis on inherently human skills such as collaboration and creativity. This is underlined by the startling statistic that, on a global level, it’s estimated that by 2030 more than half of the nearly 2 billion youths across the world will not have the skills needed for the jobs of the future1.

In the new world of work, it won’t be sufficient to rely on the skills learned in formal education. To truly thrive, the workforce needs to have an open-mind and an appetite for lifelong learning. It’s this mind-set that will enable us all to take advantage of the opportunities that technology presents.

To help the workforce build these skills, organisations and public policy bodies need to work together to improve access to training. With only 12% of business leaders believing that school leavers and graduates are adequately equipped with the digital knowhow required in the workplace2, it is time to address the skills challenge.

I have no doubt, from the enthusiasm I saw from the young people who attended Skills London, that we have the potential to continue to cultivate a world-class workforce, for London, and for the rest of the UK. I urge us all to continue to do what we can to support these young people.

1 Deloitte Youth Skills Report, 2018
2 Deloitte Digital Disruption Index, 2018

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