Jobs that don’t exist yet

There has been so much written about this topic that I thought it was dying a death and that there was nothing I could add, but here we are again in the Daily Telegraph, as obviously some people feel it is a very profound thing to say, particularly SLTs.

The article itself makes several valid points, but it is the headline that I find irritating.

Tom Bennett, Andrew Old and others have pointed out the fact that one could easily make a long list of jobs which are still likely to exist in the future.  Yet I have to say here that I agree that there will indeed be jobs that don’t exist yet. But hasn’t it been like that for at least the last 200 years?

Take the nineteenth century. Think of the huge technological advances that took place. Think of all the jobs that existed at the end of that century that didn’t exist at the beginning – you could list hundreds from the railway industry alone. An entire field of work which didn’t exist at all in the year 1800.

The amazing thing is that the nineteenth century saw a huge number of significant inventions, creating thousands of jobs which had never existed before. Yet we are told that the Victorians, if they had an education at all, had one which stifled creativity and original thinking. So how on earth was so much invented? And how did all those people cope with all the new jobs which were appearing around them?

Before I am accused of wanting to turn the clock back, my point in this post is that we all should stop treating the idea that “we are preparing children for jobs which don’t exist yet” as something very new and very profound.  It’s been happening for a long time. The idea is banal.

Incidentally, do we present children with a stereotypical view of the Victorians? See the following blog


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