TVET 4.0 to pioneer new industry learning technologies?
We are now very much concerned about whether our workers are ready to be employed in an Industry 4.0 environment. Why should we be concerned then? In truth, we have to be concerned because the emergence and the practise of Industry 4.0 has fallen upon us with rapidity such that people are running helter-skelter trying to cope with changes in our everyday lives. And on top of the value chain, there is the education system, which in all fairness has been caught with their pants down mainly because it is not easy to change the system. Academic education, and in a smaller part, vocational education is still trying to grasp with what the Fourth Industry Revolution (4IR) is all about. So are governments! Even in Germany where 4IR was conceived there has not been much change. But it is imperative that change must come and come fast, otherwise we will have a big problem of great number of people getting themselves unemployable.
Like 4IR, TVET 4.0 will pioneer change; change in the form of being the leader instead of being follower. Change will come when TVET 4.0 takes the lead role in anticipating the future of technology, and especially in visualising what needs to be done in an Artificial Intelligence environment. Robots must be designed in such a way that they can adapt to new practises like demand manufacturing. How the millennials buy should be studied and effected by way of on demand buying, thus robots must be able to change their capabilities just like
the stock market. And TVET 4.0 pupils must be creators rather than just followers. Creative thinking becomes a must, and not only pupils must be creative, but also instructors.
It becomes almost essential that industry players must become part of the TVET 4.0 environment as they will know what is in demand. This is because the education institution does not know what the industry wants. Neither does it know what the market wants so that is why they are churning out unemployable graduates. It is just easy instituting courses but it is another thing all together predicting what the industry wants. Thus in a 4IR environment, industry players must be co-opted into the training institution and be part of the team that dictates what to be done. Not only that, it is also beneficial for the industry to part finance the evolution of change as well as the infrastructure. A business model, instituted by the government will be needed to make things happen. At the end of the day, industry players will not be able to blame the institution of not supporting them by churning out unemployable workers. The blame game will have to stop and for the better of society.
In order to act in a pioneering position, the government will need to pump in money to TVET 4.0 in order to do research. AS most governments have not been forthright in granting funds to improve TVET all these while, they will need to change in their approach by putting money where it makes a difference. But in order to move in this direction, there will need to be a paradigm shift where political will is concerned. However you look at it, there is no better way of ensuring full employment if they do not want to change. Perhaps there need to be some government to lead the role and let others follow. Indeed, in the urgency of 4IR, governments and industry players as well as the educating institutions will be better off by just doing this one thing of change, albeit momentously even when no big money (relative to white elephant mega projects) is involved. In this sense, third world economies must take special note as they too must make the change or they will forever be left behind for good! Please note that there is no requirement to have 5G immediately as 4G is good enough to make things happen if they are efficiently employed.