Matthew Taylor’s review of working practice in 21st Century Britain is long awaited. It reinforces our vision to design a work system that supports and promotes the creation of quality work and lifelong learning to drive growth and prosperity across the country. Design plays an ever increasing role in the work we do, from factory floor to healthcare systems, software design to construction and it must be better reflected in our training and education system and carried through into the workplace.
We welcome the recommendation to bring together employers and the education sector to develop a consistent strategic approach to employability and lifelong learning to include formal vocational training and ‘on the job’ learning and development – including informal learning outside of the workplace. Design can play a practical role to take this forward, opening access to new thinking and applied working that are fit for purpose in modern Britain.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence continues to develop at an unprecedented rate, enhancing progress across multiple sectors and industries. This is a real opportunity to ensure that automation enhances the working experience rather than rendering it redundant. We are in 100% agreement that such developments can only function as effective enablers of human productivity if their design takes full account of human aspirations, autonomy, behaviour and limitations.
The emphasis in the Government Industrial Strategy is on technology and innovation and this is right, but we must link to the importance of human factors in driving productivity and work towards enabling more rewarding working lives for people. A national careers strategy is welcomed and we agree with Matthew that particular attention should be given to how those in low paid and atypical work are supported to progress so they are not left behind in a modern working world. Any careers strategy should take a well-rounded approach, promoting the role of high-quality work experience and encounters at different education stages – including at later stages of working life. Upskilling workers to take advantage of change will be vital. We know design can make a difference and we will work hard to make the case.
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