Change is inevitable – yet the pace of change within the world of work these days is startling. It is no secret that if we want to keep up, we must change too. We need a fresh approach when it comes to training, choosing our careers and maintaining them for a lifetime: we need a lifelong learning mindset.

Embracing change

While technology is one of the major catalysts for the changes taking place – changes which in some industries could result in significant unemployment – the world of technology also offers some possible solutions. Last month, the RSA outlined plans for a digital, careers coaching platform that is being developed with lifelong learning in mind.

As a longstanding member of the RSA, I have seen how the organisation has supported social change in numerous ways over the years. It has substantial experience behind it, and its Living Change Approach is testament to this. Sitting at the heart of the RSA’s work, the approach is a four-stage process which helps “changemakers” to learn, experiment, adapt and drive forward change.

Careers coaching project

For its current lifelong learning project, the RSA has partnered with Bayes Impact and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. The careers coaching platform itself aims to help individuals take a longer-term view of their career – to explore career options, investigate training and make decisions about employment opportunities, now and in the future. It will use labour market data to help inform this process.

The platform will be developed for a French audience initially. However, the RSA will be working with Bayes Impact to adapt the tool for use in the UK. Crucially, it will be exploring how the new careers coaching platform can be successfully integrated with the UK’s existing training and careers system – with employers, job search engines, training providers and government initiatives. This integration is viewed as “critical to the success” of the tool.

“Innovative tech companies can support and enhance government programmes by making them more accessible, user friendly, and reaching more people. A key focus should be on reaching those who may not traditionally take advantage of these opportunities, including young people (particularly those not in education or training), the unemployed, workers currently in jobs or sectors facing significant risk of automation, those on low to median-income and low-skilled workers.”

Mark Hall, Deputy Head of Engagement, The RSA

By looking through the lens of lifelong learning, individuals can help to future-proof their working lives. Technology certainly has a role to play in making this possible. Pilot projects such as the RSA’s careers coaching platform are another step in the direction of lifelong learning for all.

You can find out more about the RSA’s lifelong learning pilot here.

Jonathan Harris