Our current workforce education system faces many gaps, from underinvestment to a deep disconnect between the still-separate worlds of work and learning. However, new models for workforce education delivery are developing to help fill these gaps. New educational technologies are high on the list of new delivery models that we must consider.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) introduces a new driver. It has particularly harmed the poor and working class, who have lost jobs or are filling riskier face-to-face “essential” jobs, as opposed to safer, at-home, “knowledge” work. It has underscored the need for a better workforce education system to create better quality jobs. The virus also seriously damaged some key sectors of the economy, where many jobs will not return any time soon. There is now a major need to make workforce education a policy priority, to upgrade skills for those being left behind, and to help others shift job sectors to areas where there will be work.