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Careers Column 3: Future proofing your career in uncertain times

5 July 2017



Throughout the summer our expert Advice Team is running a special Careers Column in the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo and Forest Citizen, offering advice to young people and their parents on the important factors to consider when making decisions about their education and future careers.

If you didn't catch it in the paper, don't worry - we will be posting the articles here on the GC news page every Wednesday.

Read the full article below or click on the image to see it as it appears in the newspaper.








Future proofing your career in uncertain times 

By Duncan Willoughby, Advice and Guidance Co-ordinator

The world of work is changing rapidly, and from conversations we have with a number of young people, it’s clear that they don’t always grasp the speed of this change and impact it could have on their future employment prospects.

What is clear is that the widely predicted automation of work tasks by robots and developments in Artificial Intelligence, coupled with an ageing population, will have huge implications for how people are employed in the next decade and beyond.

Traditional jobs at risk

According to a study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte, it is predicted that about 35% of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the next 20 years. A popularly cited example is the automation of taxi driving, as driverless cars start to appear on our streets in greater quantities. This could also spread to the haulage sector as driverless trucks are now being tested in the United States.

Research intensive tasks could be replaced by Artificial Intelligence in the future, with the work of paralegals standing a 66% chance of being replaced by intelligent ‘data mining’ programmes.

Top five jobs at risk from 2020 onwards…

Telephone salesperson

Typist or related keyboard worker

Legal secretary

Financial accounts manager

Routine inspector and tester

Source: BBC News: Will a robot take your job?

Jobs of the future

Whilst all this may seem quite a scary prospect for a young person making preparations to join the labour market, it is not a certain conclusion that all the predictions may be true, and it is worth noting that this technological ‘progress’ will also create a number of new jobs in the future . For example, as the world gets to grips with climate change, new roles in environmental management and resource use will start to appear, along with technology-based roles in manufacturing and entertainment.

Traditional jobs that require empathy, such as social workers, nurses, therapists and psychologists are among the least likely jobs to disappear over time as assisting and caring for others will always be an essential service.

Top growth occupations forecast for Gloucestershire from 2020

Care workers

Nurses, nursing auxiliaries and assistants

Teaching assistants

Production managers and manufacturing directors

Retail managers and directors

Sales and business development managers

Financial managers and directors

Medical practitioners

Customer service occupations

Source: GFirst LEP

Roles that expect people to come up with creative and original ideas, for example artists, designers or engineers will also be advantageous in the face of automation. As will jobs that need a high degree of social intelligence and negotiating skills, such as managerial positions.

How can I prepare?

To be fully prepared for the future world of work, a young person will need a range of hard and transferrable skills that will enable them to navigate the future landscape successfully. Beyond the obvious goal of attaining a good standard of literacy, numeracy, and digital skills, now more than ever people will need to engage in lifelong learning, being prepared to refresh their learning and to retrain or upskill where necessary throughout their working life.

New jobs for 2020 and beyond…

Avatar designer / security consultant – Creates designs and protects the virtual you

Powered exoskeleton engineer - Designs wearable robots for soldiers, construction, energy, and rescue workers working in warzones and other hazardous environments

Personal food shopper - Enables clients/patients to hit their recommended daily allowance targets for nutritional balance and healthy living

Space tour guide - With commercial space flights on the brink of becoming a reality, budding space tourists will need help to plan for their experience 

Source: Guardian, Jobs of the future

The future is there for the taking, but planning for it now is essential for future success. That’s where Gloucestershire College can help, with its broad range of technical courses, modern facilities and strong industry links, ensuring young people come out with the most up-to-date training possible.

See the full range of technical courses, apprenticeships and higher education qualifications Gloucestershire College offers at: or call Student Services on 0345 155 2020

Why Gloucestershire College?

We have a lot of experience offering Apprenticeships and work-related training. We have industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching staff which provide the ideal complement to work-based learning.

We are here to help

0345 155 2020

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