Philip Hammond promised a Budget that helps young people get the "skills they need to do the high-paid, high-skilled jobs of the future". The support shown to technical education, primarily via new 'T-Levels' for 16-19 year olds, will be broadly welcomed, with the UK seeking to act on its lowly 16th most productive economy status, according to OECD data¹.
We need new champions of this technology who can help manufacturers understand the impact it can have on supply chain and product design. To create these leaders of the future we need to educate and inspire the next generation of designers and engineers to ensure we have the right talent to continue to grow the industry.
This Friday (17 February) marks the release of the Oscar nominated 20th Century Fox film Hidden Figures, which resurrects the true story of three truly inspirational women who worked for NASA in the 1960s - and helped blaze a trail for mathematicians and engineers of all races and genders to follow.
It's no lie that people are living longer. There are now five generations in the workforce - and this is going to become the norm. It'd be foolish to think that this won't change the way we hire and train our staff, so it's vital that businesses adapt too. That means understanding the need to hire and train staff differently.
These are indeed exciting times for the world of education, and for those who are seeking new ways to equip themselves with the skills they need to succeed at life. We owe it to the students of the future - those currently at school, or stuck in jobs dreaming of a better, more fulfilling career - to give them a true choice, and the ability to access educational excellence.
So change is afoot - Brexit will happen and businesses need to start preparing for when Article 50 is triggered. If they start looking for the right opportunities and in the right places, then there's no reason for the divide to mean pain - instead, they can start looking at how they can continue to profit by running as effectively - and competitively - as possible.
Although the introduction of robots to the workforce may ultimately make many jobs redundant, more roles will be created that enable people to develop further professionally. The jobs that are most susceptible to automation are those that are predictable, repetitive and don't require a great deal of social intelligence.
Our work seamlessly brings together schools and employers to deliver young people pre-employment programmes as part of the curriculum and meaningful work experience. We want to see the Government creating the environment for an open-dialogue between schools and employers. Only with this, will young people have the opportunities to succeed in roles that suit them.
Careers advice and work experience opportunities offered to young people as they progress through the school system have been ineffective for decades. With the issue receiving fragmented interest from successive Governments, schools have been ill equipped to provide the appropriate balance of guidance and experience that our young people need.