The world of work in transformation: A new deal on education and skills

13th November 2017
Event Details
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Business France
28-29 Haymarket

It is a given that the digital economy creates new jobs and business opportunities, potentially boosting economic growth and productivity in advanced economies. One of the key challenges for policymakers is how to create education systems and professional development and training programs which equip present and future workers with tools to navigate the digital environment and the world of work it produces, while also providing access and opportunities for all.

The British and French governments are taking on this challenge in different ways. Starting in Autumn 2017, President Macron’s reform plans aim to provide more training for those workers that need it most to adapt to the new labour market.

In Spring 2017 the UK government published its digital strategy which emphasises universal access to digital content through partnerships with libraries and community centres, and the teaching of coding in primary and secondary schools in England. It also announced a partnership between the government, local authorities and key market actors to develop business-led apprenticeships and training to better respond to market needs as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

Central to both approaches is not only the role of the government in educating and training the workforce of the digital environment but also the role businesses should play in the process.

The keys questions to be explored are:

  • How can public and private sector work together to adapt the workforce to a digital working world? What role should businesses play in designing the transition to a digital workforce?
  • What are the basics skills workers need to navigate the digital environment?
  • And how can governments reform current education systems and professional development and training programs to equip workers with those skills and provide access for all?

Against this background, this seminar will focus on the role of governments in adapting the workforce to a digital working world. This event aims to contribute to the on-going reform debate – in the UK, France and Europe in general – on education and skills development in the digital economy.

The seminar will consist of a plenary speech by Gilles Babinet, the French EU digital champion, followed by two roundtables of entrepreneurs, key policymakers and politicians from France and the UK.



  • Claire McCarthy, general secretary of the Co-operative party
  • Ed Vaizey MP, former minister for culture, communications and creative industries
  • Gilles Babinet, French EU Digital Champion, former president of the French National Digital Council (CNN) and author of several books on the digital transformation
  • Marie-Claire Carrère Gée, chair, Employment Advisory Council (Conseil d’Orientation pour l’Emploi – COE)
  • Anthony Painter, director of action and research centre, RSA
  • Patrick Diamond, co-chair, Policy Network and former head of policy planning, 10 Downing Street
  • Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the Changing Work Centre and author of Changing Work (tbc)
  • Philippa Tucker, head of communities, Code First: Girl
  • Mark Smith, CEO and founder, National College for Digital Skills
  • Jenni Lloyd, chair, Brighton Digital Festival

This event is held in partnership with the French Embassy UK,French Tech London and Business France.

This event is by invitation only. For more information please contact Josh Newlove

Photo credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com