The future workforce

If you’re unable to make it to #TruLondon then below is the provocation that I’ll be putting forward in the stream entitled Future Workforce. Please feel free to share your views and we will try to include them in the debate.

“The employment market as we know it is broken. For all we know, it is broken for all time. There are record levels of unemployment, record levels of youth unemployment and yet steadily high levels of unfilled vacancies.

Successive Governments have been incapable or unwilling to address the problems. Private enterprise is consistently moaning about skills shortages but doing little if anything to cure their own ills. And the recruitment industry, which could (and I stress COULD) be the cohesive force, is intellectually stunted, focussed on short-term gain and happy to flog the proverbial dead horse to within an inch of its life.

The problem requires a new way of thinking, a new model. It requires thought leadership, experimentation and innovation. And more than ever it requires courage. But where we see these elements, we also see significant mainstream media pressure to desist. Unpaid internships, government work schemes, university funding changes have all been the subject of liberal left outcry and hysteria.

These solutions might not be correct, but there are few alternative solutions being presented by the critics. Instead they are happy to bathe in the warm glow of self-satisfaction whilst the economy crumbles around our ears.

If we are to solve the problems, we need to think in a totally different way. We need to accept realities that we find unpalatable, but are not without historical precedent. Bonded labour, a significant increase in the single employee company, portfolio careers, a low education but high skill economy.

We need to start the thinking now and only through debate and disagreement will we reach truly innovative 21st century solutions. And we start right here, right now. Or we accept that we are irrelevant , lose competitive edge and ultimately die.”