Education secretary Michael Gove has outlined how the government's education reforms will ensure young people have the vocational skills to enable them to succeed in the rapidly-changing world of work.
Speaking at automotive manufacturer McLaren, the education secretary spoke of the rapid technological change currently taking place in the global economy. He said that in an increasingly globalised world, education enables people to shape their own destiny rather than being at the mercy of economic forces beyond their control.
Mr Gove said we are currently undergoing a second industrial revolution, which he called the "robolution". This is transforming the way we live our lives - and also the way we work.
Fujitsu is moving production of its PC and mobile phone manufacturing back to Japan, he said, because it is cheaper for robots to assemble its products than low-paid workers in industrialising nations.
While these changes are making our lives easier, they also pose problems for our commitment to social justice. According to Mr Gove, the government's education reforms will ensure technological transformations do not undermine this commitment.
He reiterated his pledge to end the "apartheid" that exists between academic and vocational education - a divide which has, he claimed, become established since the Renaissance.
Mr Gove said the government's reforms will ensure students have a strong "core" of academic subjects, citing evidence that a broad knowledge base ensures people develop wide-ranging critical thinking skills.
The reforms will bridge the divide between academic and vocational skills that has held the UK back. The government's rigorous new ICT curriculum and the introduction of 3D printers will give pupils the chance to witness the interaction of the intellectual and the technical.
In addition, the education secretary said the worlds of learning and working are being brought together. It will be easier for businesspeople to gain places on school boards, while apprenticeships have been simplified to make them more attractive to employers.
Finally, the government will ensure people have the personal qualities necessary to work in a team. Cultivation of character virtues is being encouraged through sport and co-curricular activities, as well as the government's new guidelines on discipline.
Posted by Tim Colman