Whether you work as a truck driver, manager, receptionist or CEO, the current moment is a perfect reminder of why all of us should commit to and take advantage of the many ways we can easily become lifelong learners.
For example, regardless of industry, Covid-19 forced people overnight to learn new things like how to navigate a variety of video conferencing solutions, discern how to effectively communicate via instant message and, most importantly, decide which method is a better fit for a particular conversation. Those whose industries were particularly hit hard had to look into learning something totally new in order to pivot, survive and thrive.
But to be clear, lifelong learning doesn’t always have to be about gaining new career skills. Lifelong learning takes many forms, from podcasts by experts to webinars and online courses.
The world as we knew it pre-2020 is gone. Too much has happened for our society, businesses, and governments to return to the way they were before. Instead, they need to adapt, which requires new skills. Take, for example, the drastic acceleration of digital transformation. It’s been accelerated by five years due to the pandemic and global lockdown. Fifty-eight percent of workforces report skill transformations have occurred since the onset of the pandemic.
Businesses and individuals are ill-equipped to deal with further disruption in 2021. Opportunities will pass by due to a lack of people with the right skills. We’ll have to grapple with new roles, new ways of working, new industries—not to mention the increasing prevalence of automation, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies. In the long-term, businesses also must consider how they will use technology as a competitive advantage and the skills they must develop now to achieve this. Indeed, as many as 375 million workers (14 percent of the global workforce) will need new skills by 2030 due to emerging technology. This need hasn’t disappeared because of the pandemic but actually accelerated.
Simone Lewis had extensive experience in Higher Education – as a senior lecturer in sport psychology and coaching – and also in high performance, having been an athlete, coach and administrator.
The idea behind ECAS was to develop the professional skills of 20 high-potential Academy coaches (one from each club) every year, but ultimately it ended up being about much more than that.
“The existing FA qualifications were only ever designed to develop the technical side of coaching,” Lewis explained. “ECAS was intended to complement that, by developing the leadership, personal and professional skills that nobody ever teaches you.
“No-one teaches you how to be more self aware, how to be a better communicator, how to manage conflict, how to recruit staff, how to develop leaders. It was about all of that.