22nd November 2016

On Friday 18th November 2016, Cpl CEO & Ibec President Anne Heraty spoke at a charity lunch organised by our team in aid of the local St. Christopher’s School Building Fund.

Many high-profile guests attended to show their support, such as TD Eoghan Murphy, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, and Mary Rose Burke, Dublin Chamber of Commerce CEO.

There was a great atmosphere in the Dylan Hotel as business and HR leaders from the community enjoyed the chance to network at the pre-Christmas lunch.

Anne’s keynote resonated greatly with the packed room of attendees as the theme of ‘Equipping our students to meet future skills needs’ is one that touches all of us.

Some of the key points Anne made Friday:


The first thing I want to say is, “Wow, what a challenge our young people and students have ahead of them”. If I was to ask each one of you this afternoon to pick one word to describe the future outlook for the students in say first
class in St Christopher’s today, what would it be?

I’m pretty sure that the words ‘change’ and ‘uncertainty’ would be top of the list of your responses.
One of the headlines in the Irish Times at the weekend was ‘The crises that created President Trump’. The article went on to describe six crises…the post-imperial crisis, the masculinity crisis, the ‘us-and-them’ crisis, the crisis of democracy, the identity crisis, and the crisis of inequality. Now you don’t have to have read the article to get a sense that there’s no pre-existing map for the journey we’re about to go on in terms of change.

Skills of the Future

A child entering school today will go to university in 2031, and we are already hearing predictions about the number of jobs that will be lost to automation and robotics. According to research by Deloitte and Oxford University, more than one third of Britain’s jobs are under threat from technology in the next 10-20 years. In the past, it was low skilled, repetitive jobs that were thought to be at risk. Well, that is no longer the case.

You might think doctors represent the ultimate in hands-on expertise, but Johnson & Johnson's Sedasys system, already FDA approved, automates the delivery of anaesthesia in operations like colonoscopies at the fraction of the cost of an anaesthetist. A doctor can then supervise multiple machines like this at the same time.

The good news is that in the midst of all this change, new jobs will be created in new companies and new industries we haven’t imagined yet.

But these jobs will require new and different skillsets. Managing this transition is an important challenge for all of us but particularly for our education system. Our education system needs to adapt rapidly to equip people with the skills they will need to thrive and take advantage of the very different future they will face.

Building an Environment for Success

In my own experience, I see technology bringing new ways of teaching and, for the most part, it’s positive. However there is a much bigger dimension with teaching. We need teachers who know who they are, believe in themselves and can create a space where children can learn and believe in themselves. I have 2 children both very different and if there is one thing I am now convinced about it is that so much of education is about confidence and having someone who believes in you. Without a doubt, investing in the teaching profession and giving teachers the leadership tools to inspire confidence in our children is one of the most effective and proactive ways of bringing real change to our communities.

Overall, we have a huge responsibility to build and create an environment for success for future generations, in our homes, in our organisations, and in our communities. By being here today you’re already playing a part. But I encourage you to challenge yourself…to do more. We all need to do more.

Let us not forget that big and realistic change happens every day in classrooms in schools across the country. Behind every successful businessperson, doctor, artist or entrepreneur stands a teacher who inspired and believed in the impressionable child that person was and gave him or her the confidence to be great. Thank you for coming today. Thank you for your support of Cpl. We work had to build your trust and deeply appreciate your business.

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