St Albans Meets the 4th Industrial Revolution

We’re into February and here in the UK at least, the worst bit of winter. The pleasures of Christmas, friends and family are over, or worse still hanging about around our waists; while we have some of the year’s least pleasant weather and the nights still draw in early. And finally most of us have broken our New Year’s resolutions as these dark evenings draw us to the telly and crisps1. For telly and crisps, please feel free to insert your own preferred default misdemeanour for values between zero and one hundred.

I’m adamant that in 2019, I want to learn a couple of new skills and allocate my time a little differently. My resolutions, and the resulting learning objectives, are admirably sensible. Common sense (and the lack of a horse) means the days of wanting to train to be a circus-performing-ninja-stuntman-cowboy are behind me. Nonetheless, I am constantly surprised how even the smallest changes are so, so jolly hard to effect.

At a global level, this converts to very significant issues, which were covered at Davos 20192. The vlog from the job creation strategy for the 4th industrial revolution is worth a review. In a nutshell, good news: 58 million new jobs worldwide as a result of new technology (AI, drones, algorithms, IOT, 5G etc.). And the excitement that 65% of children entering primary school today, will end up doing jobs that don’t currently even exist. The bad news: significant needs for individual reskilling and upskilling, and pockets of displaced workers.

This translates directly to the worries and concerns of CEOs. The PwC 22nd CEO Survey cites [securing] the availability of key skills as being an essential issue in business growth and fitness for the future of companies3.

All will be touched by these changes. Nobody can sit on their throne Canute-like, wishing the tide of innovation away4. It’s best to lean in. I think it’s incumbent on all of us as citizens, workers, managers, and parents to engage with this challenge and respond. While it’s easy to read doom-laden drivel in our daily newspapers, I’m certain that there is a bright future in which we can actively participate.

On the micro level, this has caused me to redouble my efforts at making sure I follow through with some of my New Year’s resolutions5. At a macro level, continuing professional development should be a mantra for us all. It’s the companies that value personal development, and constantly try to enable and facilitate staff learning, that will succeed.

As Keith Barker, CTO at Flint said, “We must be the only specialist recruitment company that has its own test lab! On the one hand, that might seem ridiculous and wasteful, but I want to make sure our recruiters and Associates have access to training and really understand the evolution of our market. We can’t stand still.

“Through providing supporting resources to the ICT industry, we help our customers fill critical resource gaps and manage the personnel needs in their companies. I’m adamant we have to help work to grow the whole community too.”

At Flint we’re here to help. Chat to us at [email protected]

Mean times, I’ll try to hide the crisps behind the back of the sofa. Stay safe and keep learning.

1   I’m assuming that you’re not one of what must be a vanishingly small group of people who resolved to watch MORE telly and eat MORE crisps.
4   King Canute while famous for getting wet feet when he ordained, but failed to stop the tide return, is apparently given a poor press. He was acting ironically with a view to illustrating to his court the potential fallibility of regal leadership. Canute should have invested in a better PR department.
5   I have attempted to incorporate three new (to me) generic learning methodologies; bullet journaling, a 100-day plan and 1% improvement. Given I’m only 35 days through the process, I can’t promise success. I can promise that if you reach out I’ll let you know what and how I’m doing.

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