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Education in need of a radical rethink

Industry complains of a chronic skills shortage in areas such as communication and creativity. Yet our education system places little value on subjects that hone those skills, says Jacqui O'Hanlon, Director of Learning and National Partnerships at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The latest report from The Open University and the Institute of Directors estimates the UK skills shortage is costing businesses in the region of £6.3 billion. And world leaders agree that it is non-routine cognitive, interpersonal, social and emotional skills that will be most in demand in the future. Skills that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development acknowledges are fostered by the arts:

‘To date, researchers have been unable to identify a comparable activity that develops the cognitive capacity of children in the same ways or to the same extent as music and arts education does.’

Arts learning interventions build key skills including resilience, tolerance, empathy and the ability to get along and communicate with others. A growing body of evidence also demonstrates that young people who experience an arts-rich education tend to do better at school, are more likely to go to university and ultimately land better jobs.

Read the full article on Arts Professional here.

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