Kingston University Vice-Chancellor gives evidence to House of Lords creative industries inquiry

Kingston University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steven Spier, set out the need for a progressive new model of education focused on delivering the skills for innovation required by industry, during a House of Lords select committee hearing.

He joined a panel of experts called to give evidence to the Communications and Digital Committee as part of an inquiry examining the future of the creative industries in the United Kingdom.

Chaired by Baroness Stowell of Beeston, the inquiry is focused on understanding the effects new technologies will have on the creative industries over the coming decade and the changes that will be required to ensure the skills and talent pipeline can deliver what is needed for the sector to thrive. The cross-party committee is also considering the role of innovation and organisational adaptation.

During the session, former BBC Director-General Lord Hall of Birkenhead asked Professor Spier to elaborate on key findings of the University’s Future Skills reports.

He said: “We went out with YouGov to more than 2,000 businesses and asked them what skills their workforces need to meet the challenges of the future.

“What came back were things like problem solving, critical thinking, communication – so you can work together across subject areas, digital competency and analysis … also adaptability and resilience.”

Highlighting how thinking about skills in this way could future-proof the economy and ensure people had the ability to continuously reskill to meet the challenges of the future of work he cited Kingston University’s own plans to embed future skills training across all courses in all subject areas, saying: “We’re working closely with industry to deliver what it needs. There are the subject and technical competencies, but other skills surround that – expanding the notion of skills and having education rise to that challenge.”

Professor Spier was part of a panel of three experts who gave evidence to the committee during the session, alongside Lesley Giles, director at Work Advance, and Dr Lisa Morrison Coulthard, research director at the National Foundation for Educational Research.

The A Creative Future inquiry was launched by the committee in July to look at the future of the UK’s creative industries. It is taking written and oral evidence and will compile a report with recommendations to be presented to government.

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