What workforce skills are required by 2025?

jobs of the futureI have recently completed a HEIF funded project (Higher Education Investment Fund) supported by Southampton Solent University, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Business South.

In this research I explored what the future might look like in terms of predominant sectors, work hotspots and evolving jobs.

Over the next few blogs I’m going to share with you the output from that research and what it means for UK schools, colleges and universities.

This blog will explain where the future job sectors are predicted to be.

Some of the industry sectors most frequently predicted to become predominant in the future are; energy, technology, healthcare, construction, education, aerospace and defence and finance (HIS Markit, 2016; National Research Council, 2013; PwC, 2014; Sykes, 2014; UKCES, 2014b; Van der Elst, 2015). Reasons for these predictions involve the increased focus on renewable energy (National Research Council, 2013), advances in fossil-fuel extraction technology and new oil-field discoveries, which are predicted to lead to some of the world’s largest energy projects (Sykes, 2014).

The increasing use of technology and new technological breakthroughs will continue to influence the future, and the digitalisation of production and manufacturing processes will drive a new era of industrialisation (PwC, 2014; UKCES, 2014b).

We are currently experiencing increasing research in big data, biological and molecular engineering and ICT, which will in return create new technologies, industries and thus new jobs.

We will also see further developments in other areas such as virtual reality (or: augmented reality), artificial intelligence (AI), voice recognition and 3D printing (Van der Elst, 2015; UKCES, 2014b). Further developments in fingerprint sensors and retinal scans will be made, as well as advances in flexible display technology, which will inspire more innovation in wearable devices and other products that will benefit from a lighter, thinner and bendable display (IHS Markit, 2016).

The aging populations and the integration of technology in the healthcare system will cause the healthcare sector to become one of the predominant sectors of the future. It will be necessary to improve efficiency and healthcare delivery while reducing costs, and it is predicted that mobile health (mHealth) applications will play a major role in the future developments (Sykes, 2014).

Growth in the construction industry is expected to increase by more than 70% to US$15 trillion by year 2025, and will most likely be concentrated in China, USA and India. In addition, a smaller construction market (US$350 billion) comprised by Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, is growing by more than 6% per annum (Sykes, 2014).

Pharmaceuticals, automobile assembly, asset management, filmed entertainment and tertiary education are predicted to be some of the most popular industry clusters (definition: geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field) in the future (PwC, 2010).

Focus groups conducted in the Hampshire, UK in July 2016 support empirical evidence although Brexit will now have an impact on the UK economy. Local businesses consider that the following global economies will be important: China, US, Russia, India, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Asia (South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam), South America (Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia).

So, my question to those educating our young people is “How do we prepare young people for these changes in an engaging and experiential way that will trigger a passion to be part of this new working world?” Check out this video of the top 10 jobs of the future.

Please do let me have your constructive comments to add further evidence to the research project.



Lesley Strachan Consulting and Training

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