The Approach and Trends in Education to Match the Needs of Industry 4.0 in the Millenial Era

Mateus Ezra Ravin
Universitas Kristen Maranatha - Indonesia

Abstract — Nowadays, with the era of digitalization and fast-growth of technology, higher education institutions became a very important place to enhance students’ competencies. These competencies however are not easily trained or taught by higher education institutions as some of the higher education institutions, especially in developing countries, are not familiar with the approach and trends to match the needs of industry 4.0 – whether it would be the skills, competencies, abilities or even experience. This paper would be revolving around the approach and trends in education, especially in higher education, to match the needs of industry 4.0 by referring to what industries look for in the current era.

I. Introduction
Over the course of the years, 61 million jobs are lost since 2008 resulting in 200 million people being unemployed globally, therefore 90% job creation must take place in the developing world primarily in Asia and Africa. [1] Employment rate of graduates in ASEAN countries also hasn’t been very impressive due to the fact that only 2 over 150 ASEAN University are listed as top 150 in Employability Rate. [2]

This is due to the cause of a mismatch between what is taught in higher education and what the industry needs. [3]
To solve this issue, we need to delve deeper to the root of why and how a mismatch between these two elements arise and how does ones’ education system / approach can solve such root problem. However, before delving deeper, we need to first know the very-definition of the term “Employment Rate” or “Employability”. This is the very-definition of the term “Employment Rate” or  “Employability”:

Employment rates are defined as a measure of the extent to which available labour resources (people available to work) are being used. They are calculated as the ratio of the employed to the working age population. Employment rates are sensitive to the economic cycle, but in the longer term they are significantly affected by governments' higher education and income support policies and by policies that facilitate employment of women and disadvantaged groups. [4]

II. Overview of the Skills Needed for Industry 4.0

With the emergence of Industry 4.0, engineers have very well become an expert in advancing the utility of technology within an Industry and reducing labour cost. However, it is these types of decision that harm the economy and the wealth of a country. Therefore, we need a couple more skills that millennials, especially engineers, need to complement those negative effects or prevent engineers from making inhumane decision due to their lack of sense of humanity. This is one of the main cause that causes unemployability in the engineering department, therefore new type of skills need to be introduced to reduce the unemployment rate due to Skills Mismatch and Employability Problem.

In upcoming year of 2020, from a survey conducted by World Economic Forum 2017 from nine largest industries in fifteen largest economics summarized by Airbus Global University Partner Program (AGUPP) [3], industries that already applying Industry 4.0 desired these skills and competencies in their employees or engineers.

The Skills and Competencies required by Industry 4.0 are:

-               Complex Problem Solving

-               Critical Thinking

-               Creativity & Innovation

-               People Management

-               Inter-Personal Collaboration

-               Emotional Intelligence

-               Negotiation

-               Customer Oriented Service

-               Cognitive Flexibility

These skills and competencies listed above are mostly classified as management and entrepreneurial skills, which are demanded by industries, especially from an engineers’ point of view due to the fact that they lack these skills & competencies.

The European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual, and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) defines a formula for employability as “a combination of knowledge, competencies/skills, and personal attributes that make graduates more likely to gain employment and progress during their career”. [6]

To bridge the skills & competencies mismatch, educators & employers must work together by implementing new approach and trends to the education system. We will look first at the overview of the trends and type of education in this paper then go to the pros and cons of each type of education trends and approach.

III. Trends and Approaches to Education in Bridging Industry 4.0
One type of trend that has been ongoing in the education system is the University – Industry Collaboration / Relationship that is implemented by Airbus Global University Partner Programme (AGUPP). Basically, this type of collaboration will bridge the skills & competencies gap that are still missing in the 20th century educational system by giving workshops directly from the industry, case-study research groups and many others which are shown in Figure 1. Figure 2 shows the result and the reasons for the University – Industry Collaboration. [3]

Approaches for AGUPP:

  • Rewarding the ‘good failures’
    • Failed ideas, arguments within teams, projects that don’t quite make it? This mirrors the try-fail-try-again model of innovation and ‘design thinkers’ that are so important to Airbus’ business model now. Involving industry representatives in feedback and coaching sessions which go beyond the academic results of a project can help students reflect and learn from their experiences.
  • More university programmes that simulate real life workspaces and situations For example, teambased projects which require students to build a product together from start to finish can help students not only put their technical

knowledge to work, but also use transferrable and professional skills such as project management, working within budget, teamwork, etc. The Airbus Aula, created with collaboration between the company and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, is a good example of this type of programme, providing students with a space for project-oriented teamwork.

  • More interdisciplinary teamwork at universities As interdisciplinary teams are becoming more and more common for engineers in the workplace, universities can help students prepare by creating environments at university for students to work with those in other fields.
  • Think tanks at universities that work on real industry problems Think tank setups help foster innovation, a key competency for engineers at Airbus. Students can already become acclimated to this type of environment and work if universities create think tanks on campus.

III. Conclusion:

                Based on this paper, companies, industries and universities need to work together in bridging the skills and competencies to solve the unemployability phenomenon, by trying to innovate new approaches towards the education system.

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