Sustainable Education

Connecting education to labour market needs

Surely, you mean “education for sustainable development”? Nope. Sustainable development is exactly what we mean. Education needs to be sustainable in itself. The underlying factors of education need to be based on the needs of the future, and not on the ideas of the past.

“a change of educational culture, one which develops and embodies the theory and practice of sustainability in a way which is critically aware. It is therefore a transformative paradigm which values, sustains and realises human potential in relation to the need to attain and sustain social, economic and ecological well being, recognising that they must be part of the same dynamic” (Sterling, 2001:22).

The education system today is, in most countries, based on a model from an industrialised society. However, most modern societies, are no longer industrialised. The 21st century, modern, western society is a knowledge based society, one that expects people to think critically and creatively, that demands of its workers to collaborate with others, and communicate efficiently across cultures, different departments and fields. Today, jobs where problem solving can be done by looking it up in a manual, are becoming redundant.

The compliant populace of the “factory schools” are no longer required in the 21st Century job market, and therefore things need to change! We need to ensure that schools educate the next generation of workers to be information, media, and technology literate, but that’s not all! If you have studied recent job listings, then you might have noticed that in academical, or white collar jobs, having one great quality is no longer enough. In fact, an analysis of 24.5 million job postings showed that 71% of the expected skills of future employees are hybrid skills. This means that work normally carried out by several people with different educational backgrounds, from different departments, is now expected to be carried out by one single person.


The development of the labour marked has also changed what “innovative skills” are. Once innovative skills have now become mainstream, and new innovative skills have to be developed, flexibility being the key word. In addition to the rise in expectations in regards to hard skills, soft skills are also in demand, now more than ever.

“This century may well be one of relearning on a grand scale across society…necessitating a metamorphosis of many of our current education and learning constructs” (Williams, 2004:4).

Coneqt aims at creating a link between the real needs of the working world and education.