Competences of the Future: Educational Processes vs. Challenges and Barriers of Contemporary Labor Markets

Competences of the Future: Educational Processes vs. Challenges and Barriers of Contemporary Labor Markets

Emilia Kijanka (School of Economics, Law and Medical Sciences in Kielce, Poland) and Katarzyna Lipska (School of Economics, Law and Medical Sciences in Kielce, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5837-8.ch005

Abstract

We live in a world of constant changes. Progress, modern technologies, and globalization processes make the reality that surrounds us and gives us new opportunities, but at the same time we face new demands. People's wisdom depends on economic and social success, because an educated citizen, able to adapt to the ever-changing world, has a significant influence on the shape of modern civilization. Nowadays the theoretical knowledge gained in the education process becomes insufficient, and it becomes more important to use it in practice to solve problems, communication skills, cooperation, group work, or flexible working in the labor market. A man in the modern labor market must adapt to flexible responses to change and to finding new solutions, continuing learning and problem solving, perceiving causal and functional dependencies, the complexity of phenomena, the design of actions, and acceptance of responsibility for results. The chapter aims to analyze trends in the contemporary labor market and to assess the extent to which employers meet expectations and opportunities.
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Introduction

There is no doubt we live in a world of constant changes. Social, economic, scientific and technical development of the 20th century has brought many changes in society. We are dealing with them because of the evolution of industrial to post-industrial society, also called information society, and consequently to the knowledge society. Progress, modern technologies, and globalization processes make the reality that surrounds us gives us new opportunities, but at the same time, we face new demands. The development of competences in the knowledge economy, the increasing number of people with access to education, the aging of the population, generational differences, the shortage of qualified personnel in a dynamically changing environment are challenges that can be met with intellectual dexterity, adaptability to change in the background, the tendency to innovate, the need for their development or openness to risk.

The basis for the development of modern civilization is the knowledge we acquire and use from the earliest stages of education. It is the basis not only for personal and professional development but also for personal fulfillment. If we care about the development of society and the country, we need to invest in education. People's wisdom depends on economic and social success because an educated citizen, able to adapt to the ever-changing world, has a significant influence on the shape of modern civilization. For many years, education systems have been acting as a teacher or “knowledge holder,” and a student who wanted to acquire that knowledge. Passive education methods have been and have been a burden and source of many of the graduates entering the labor market. Meanwhile, in the realities of the modern world and business, employers are looking for independent and ready to work candidates. The strategic challenge of 21st-century education is to equip pupils and students with the skills to manage a modern state and to build the competitiveness of the native economy in a globalized world. The education system should identify in advance the competency requirements of employers in order to respond appropriately to the needs of the labor market. Competence, or the ability to use and apply knowledge in a professional context, is a set of capabilities that enable you to perform your work efficiently, achieve your goals, and follow the standards of your practice.

We cannot deny that the world is continuously learning. Current skills of pupils and students are often insufficient and unsuitable for the needs of the labor market. Nowadays the theoretical knowledge gained in the education process becomes inadequate, and it becomes more important to use it in practice to solve problems, communication skills, cooperation, group work or flexible working in the labor market. Compared to other markets, the importance of skills is more pronounced in a dynamic and globalized world. Building necessary skills early on, by broadening and improving the quality of early childhood, is essential, but it is also crucial to ensure that skills taught at school are relevant to the working world. Modern workers must also find their place in the new reality. There is a growing demand for highly qualified and competent employees, called knowledge workers, in the modern economy, known as the knowledge economy. Improving educational-system responsiveness to labor market needs, and ensuring that students complete their schooling with skills needed to find work, require collaboration between employers and public authorities. The rapid growth in international trade in professional services has provoked several professions to organize themselves at a global scale. Continuous economic and social transformations increase the expectations of employers, and therefore there`s the need for employees to have critical competencies. The turning point that implied the redefinition of skill in Poland was the accession of Poland to the European Union. Citizens’ expertise on the labor market in the contemporary-focused on international migration activities by offering their skills to employers from member countries. The notion of ability, despite its ambiguity, interdisciplinary, multidimensionality, and diversity, is inherent in scientific and practical discourse.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Competencies: The abilities, knowledge, and skills that enable to do something successfully or efficiently in a job or situation.

Innovate Education: Education that involves new or different methods of learning.

Communication Skills: Defined by the ability to convey or share ideas and feelings effectively.

Life-Long Learning: Learning that is pursued throughout life, it is flexible, diverse and available at different times and in different places.

Demands of the Labor Market: Demand that exists in a labor market, where employees provide the supply and employers the demand.

Professional Skills: Skills and qualities required for a specific type of job position.

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