The way we work is changing rapidly: We know that in the future, machines will be able to take over more and more routine tasks – yet the human workforce will still be important thanks to their skills and abilities in communication, decision-making, and creativity. Future-oriented educational principles such as competency-based training (CBTA) are intended to strengthen these competencies. The Research Studio PCA is working on this – to best adapt education to future work requirements.

The gap between the knowledge and skills sought by employers and the skills of the employees they hire is growing. Global megatrends such as demographic change, globalization and income inequality will impact the future of work, but technological progress is usually seen as having the greatest impact, particularly on the role that human workers will play in the future.

In light of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution, “Industry 4.0,” technological developments in automation will mean that workers* will no longer perform only repetitive tasks, but tasks that require decision-making, creativity, logical thinking and similar human skills. The World Economic Forum, in its recent report on the future of jobs and skills, predicted that 65 percent of children entering elementary school today will be working in new jobs that do not exist today. – But how can workers acquire the skills needed to pursue these jobs of the future?

Trained for the industrial revolution

Our education and training systems are still designed to prepare workers to perform industrial tasks and simply follow rules and regulations. The current educational paradigm therefore no longer meets the requirements of the future economy.

Most occupations will require the use of technology; much deeper learning that builds resilience, problem-solving skills, values, and leadership will be more important than ever. Occupations with rapidly growing needs (teaching, hospitality, customer relations), already require these “human skills.”

A different educational paradigm

There is a growing need for education and training principles that do not follow the “one size fits all” approach of generalized education – examples of this are the principles of Evidence-Based and Competency-Based Training (EBT & CBT). These principles not only allow for the transition from automatic assessment of task performance to assessment of underlying skills, but also the creation of individualized support for all students*.

Current projects from the Research Studio PCA focus on these competence-based training support systems – such as the MInd-Map project, which supports pilots in training. EBT & CBT are well advanced in aviation because processes are highly standardized, the flight deck environment is controllable, and the industry is characterized by an openness to technological innovation. However, the RSA FG is also testing the application of CBT techniques in a completely different field of application: art.

In both use cases, the development of multi-sensor-based technologies enables direct feedback of the trainee’s attention, cognitive load and perception to trainers. Based on this, training recommendations pursue the goal of increasing the quality and efficiency of training. In this way, training in various areas is to be adapted to future work requirements in the best possible way.