Expert: Look into my crystal balls.
Policy Maker: Brilliant, I love this. You literally have no idea how much this will help me out in tomorrow’s meeting.
Teacher: I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
Expert: Let us look and see what the future holds.
Policy Maker: Let me see, let me see, let me see! Am I in a bigger office?
Expert: Let’s see. Ooh, the future is very different.
Teacher: Is it? Is it really? And how exactly?
Expert: Oh, the jobs of the future are very different to the ones of today.
Policy Maker: Oh no, really? Are there still policy makers?
Expert: I think so.
Policy Maker: Thank goodness. What else?
Teacher: Yes, what else?
Expert: Well, there are robots.
Expert: Yes. There are maybe robots.
Teacher: And what are these robots doing?
Expert: Well, it’s difficult to say, it’s the future. But there are definitely maybe robots.
Policy Maker: Are they making policies?
Policy Maker: Oh thank goodness.
Expert: Who knows what they’re doing, but they’re doing something. Something that we used to do, so who knows what we will be doing instead.
Teacher: Well, you’re the one with the crystal balls. Can’t you be a little bit more specific?
Expert: People are living longer.
Expert: But who knows how many of them will have jobs? Maybe the robots will do most of the jobs that we currently know about? Maybe only 50% of the human population will be able to earn enough money to live on?
Policy Maker: To be fair, the chancellor is doing a pretty good job of covering that himself without the needs of robots. They’re not foreign robots are they?
Teacher: So what skills, aside from robot maintenance, do you see being utilized within the workforce?
Expert: Skills that we could not possibly understand.
Teacher: Well this was fun, I’m off now to have a conversation with people who aren’t idiots.
Expert: But skills that we must prepare our children for?
Policy Maker: Good point.
Teacher: Hang on.
Expert: There is a real need for joined up thinking.
Policy Maker: Joined. Up. Thinking…
Teacher: Whoa there! Let’s begin with some actual thinking first; we can move on to joined up thinking when we’re good and ready.
Expert: Schools are acting too slowly. They are behind the curve.
Teacher: What curve?
Expert: The curve of the future. Schools are not teaching the skills of the future.
Policy Maker: I knew it.
Teacher: I’m sorry. What skills for what jobs?
Policy Maker: The jobs that the robots aren’t doing?
Teacher: Which are?
Expert: People will live to be over a hundred in the future. They may need to find work in forty different types of jobs spanning ten different careers before they retire to die.
Policy Maker: Schools should be equipping our children with these skills.
Teacher: What bloody skills?
Policy Maker: A portfolio of skills.
Teacher: That doesn’t mean anything.
Expert: We should be asking the children.
Policy Maker: Brilliant. Yes. Schools should be asking the children about what skills they think they’ll need in the future. We’ll call it the ‘future skills portfolio’.
Teacher: Stop saying portfolio.
Expert: You must get this right.
Policy Maker: Yes. Schools must get this right. Or else the future will be their fault.
Teacher: And if the future is fine?
Policy Maker: Then I have done my job.
Expert: And as long as there’s a future, I’ll always be an expert.
(If you think I’m joking)