What will the world of work look like in 2050?

Posted 29 January 2019

Alex Loveday-Davies worked as a Media Studies Teacher before leading Media Trust's Vlogstar Challenge programme. The programme aims to develop young people's creativity and confidence through free film and video blogging(vlogging) workshops in schools and youth organisations across London and Essex.

For eight years I worked as a teacher of Media Studies in a leading south London Academy. Recently I was inspired after reading Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century where Harari states much of the information students learn in the classroom today, will likely be irrelevant by 2050. A harsh but an inevitable truth.

His argument reminded me of many a lunchtime spent in my staffroom with my fellow teachers where we would discuss how we could effectively prepare students for the future world of work. What would the careers of the future look like? What skills would they need to develop in order to succeed? We would debate until the bell rang, before heading back to our classrooms for the final lessons of the day.

In the past, much before I even considered a career in education, the demand on learners was to cram as much information into their brains as possible, memorising important facts and statistics was of high importance in most traditional subjects. However, due to the dawn of the information age and the internet, this type of learning has become outdated, uninspiring and irrelevant to preparing learners for their future workplace.

Conscientious teachers adopt teaching strategies that develop the learners’ ‘softer’ skills.

Skills for success

So what kind of skills will students need in order to flourish in the workplace of the future and what will the world of work look like in 2050?

In short, no one really knows. Conscientious teachers adopt teaching strategies that develop the learners’ ‘softer’ skills. Harari calls these ‘the four Cs’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Organic skills that will never be outdated by technology.

As a result, learners are able to develop the tenacity and confidence to reinvent themselves and respond to demands in a creative and flexible manner.

Media Trust’s Vlogstar Challenge programme

Media Trust’s Vlogstar Challenge film and vlogging workshops aim to enable students to develop, experiment and strengthen their four Cs. How? From analysing what makes an effective and meaningful story, to sharing their ideas and collaborating with others to create a one-minute vlog about something that they are passionate about, it puts the learner at the centre of the action and allows for rapid development and learning

Our free one-day workshops are delivered in house at schools across London and Essex. In workshops our expert trainers facilitate young people to create meaningful and thoughtful video content using the free digital tools like YouTube. The workshops are open to students aged 16 and over.

By 2050 a 16-year-old will be 47 years old. Who knows if YouTube will still be in existence by this time, but one thing is for sure, our learners will have gone into a working environment where adaptability and resilience are a prerequisite to success.

What I love is that Vlogstar Challenge creates an online community of diverse creators from London and Essex who share their stories to a global community. This year’s winner, Munna Sherif, shared a personal experience suffering with anxiety highlighting just how prevalent an issue it is for young people in this age of ubiquitous ‘social media’.


Muuna's winning vlog about anxiety.

So, how do we prepare our students for the future workplace? One way is to encourage them to take part in programmes that challenge them to develop the 4’Cs’. It’s now been quite sometime since I have taken part in a healthy lunchtime staff room debate, but now I’ve got at least some of a solution to offer, a programme like the Vlogstar Challenge that enables students to develop their four C’s while learning practical skills and an insight into creating meaningful video content.

The Vlogstar Challenge is a unique training programme and competition run by Media Trust and the Jack Petchey Foundation, in partnership with YouTube and the Evening Standard.


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