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Dubai’s Drone Taxis Is Pushing Boundaries in the Transportation Sphere

Dubai is striving to set itself apart from other cities by embracing driverless technology with its Dubai drone taxi. Plans to roll out the flying drone taxis are well underway and are set to come into fruition by summer. These passenger-carrying drones, as Tech Crunch reports, are intended to relieve traffic congestion and commuting issues. While other countries such as the U.S. are still testing self-driving cars, Dubai is already looking at making it a viable transportation alternative.

Mashable first broke the news by quoting Mattar Al Tayer, head of Dubai’s Road and Transportation Agency, at the recent World Government Summit. He shared plans to launch—as early as July this year—one-passenger drones. The report added that the passenger drone service will be ferrying commuters to and from predetermined areas. Al Tayer was additionally cited as saying that these are not just plans. He stated that they have working models, which have been tested and flown in Dubai sky.

Details on the Dubai Drone Taxi

Reports further revealed that the city will be using the Ehang 184, a self-driving quad-opener electric drone.

The all-electric flying drone can carry a maximal load of 220 lbs. The flying drone taxi can run up to 31 miles on a single charge. And it can reach speeds of 100 mph. The personal aircraft—which weighs 500 lbs.—is big enough for a single passenger. There is also space for a small suitcase, which can be stowed at the back compartment. The cutting-edge taxis will be remotely monitored by city officials and piloted from a central command center. It will reportedly run at speeds of 60 mph. And it will feature security harnesses and a touchscreen console to record the passenger’s destination.

All these undoubtedly pushes the envelope of transportation technology. And it is something that other advanced cities are sure to emulate. If all goes to plan, Dubai’s skyline will be dotted with more than just skyscrapers in just a few short months.

Trump’s Recently Signed Infrastructure Projects Lacks Detail

United States President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order expediting “high priority” Trump infrastructure projects. But while the move to revitalize America’s roads, bridges and airports is a welcome one, the question remains: Does the U.S. have the money and the resources to see it through?

The push to finish current infrastructure projects, according to the Transportation Department, will need a massive $926 billion to finish. Business Insider reports that there are indications that the GOP-led Congress, along with Democrats in Congress, will deliver the amount over a proposed 10 years. Still, the problem with any fast-track project is that they have to go through a lot of hoops and face a number of stumbling blocks. Former President Obama admitted in 2009 that his “shovel-ready” bill could not be carried out. The cause of the delay was, ultimately, the legislation. For another, there were not enough skilled workers to do it.

Trump Infrastructure Projects and the Private Sector

The Democrats, on one hand, agree with President Trump about the need for infrastructure and have introduced a $1-trillion building plan. However, they were clear and direct in saying that the plan will not make use of private funding and tax breaks. This case is exactly the opposite of what President Trump’s plan was. The president wanted to give tax breaks and tax credits to companies which will help finance the Trump infrastructure projects.

The Democrats understand that the tax breaks for the infrastructure will not go to the workers. They expect that there will be no appreciable increase in employment and salaries for workers. The reason is that the projects are not new but are already in the pipeline. Any government incentive for financing the projects will just enrich the private sector. In addition, the private sector will not likely finance a project that will not be revenue-generating. Also, the public will most likely not want these projects done in the first place if the private sector will place toll booths to recoup their investment,

The Republicans, on the other hand, do not agree with the Trump directive nor with the Democrat proposal. They feel that President Trump’s directive looks like a stimulus package. They do not want to have anything to do with a stimulus package. They also feel that the $1 trillion price tag is too high.

Regulations & Red Tape

Aside from the opposition to President Trump and the legislative wrangling, there is also the problem of red tape. The reason there is a backlog of projects to the tune of almost $1 trillion is due to state, local and departmental regulations. These rules are a constant pain in the neck for construction projects. Indeed, the Trump infrastructure projects can take decades to get started on when they get caught up in red tape. And instead of speeding things up, the decision could ultimately cause more delays, or worse, not get projects done at all.

Alternative Education Programs for Economic And Social Mobility – Part IV

According to the Financial Times, the lack of vocational education stifles social mobility. The report states that the U.S. school system fails to equip poorer children with the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. It’s therefore extremely important for students without an opportunity structure to be able to progress in their careers through vocational training or other alternative education programs. Employment prospects based on education and training (journalist, engineer, accountant, lawyer, teacher, etc.), as opposed to industries where contacts, networking, and social standing are more important, are the key to economic and social mobility today.

According to the Chartered Management Institute, workers provided with additional experience and practical skills-based training that’s offered by vocational courses are being elevated out of poverty and their chances of progressing in work increase. Many sources state that the United States has one of the poorest rates of economic and social mobility in the world and is actually a place where the best jobs are only being afforded to the elite. There is evidence to suggest that in many of the world’s developed countries—including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom—there is a growing social divide between the classes, the incomes are dramatically divided, and that economic and social mobility is dwindling.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, vocational education has increased throughout America as it’s seen as the means to being able to climb the corporate ladder. Thus, it has become more attractive to businesses as a means to meet their needs. Thus, it’s no wonder that an uptake of internships, apprenticeships, work-based education, online learning and most importantly, vocational education, accelerate alternative education programs today.

a photo containing a list of alternative education programs

The Rise of Alternative Education Programs & Vocational Training

Traditionally used as a tool to train plumbers, builders, carpenters, etc., vocational training is now being used in other professions including accounting, engineering, and other leading industries to ensure candidates are fully trained and they’re able to succeed throughout their careers. What’s more, alternative education programs like vocational education is also being used to train managers, from low positions, helping those without the opportunity structures afforded to them by wealthy parents or a strong educational background the ability to climb the corporate ladder. Analysts say a failing education system has ‘dumbed down’ Americans and as students fight for fewer college places with increased fees, accommodation, and living expenses, vocational education is being viewed as important as a college degree. It is enabling workers to move up in life, work and encourages economic and social mobility.

One of the fundamental objectives of legislators is to discourage employers from using recruitment specifications and encourage them to take on young and eager workers who are willing to better themselves with internships, apprenticeships, additional work-based education, and vocational education.

Now, with so much prominence being placed on digital, online education is another avenue that is becoming an integral part of many organizations across the United States. Workers can search the internet and access online curriculum either at work or at home. Online courses give employees new skills that can increase their chances of qualifying for a better position, promotion or higher pay, and can also prove beneficial in the long-term by providing prospective employers with the skill sets they are looking for. Truly, it takes bold actions like these to ensure that economic and social mobility is rife in the United States. Online and vocational courses are certainly proving a successful tool for enabling upward social mobility in America today.

Education and Training for Economic And Social Mobility – Part III

Many countries are criticized for favoring those in privileged positions which enables them a leg-up in the corporate world. Unfortunately, there are now fewer chances for Americans to build their skills and get on in the workplace unless they have a top degree or the right connections. In fact, a report by The Economist has shown that if people become trapped in low salary jobs or can’t find the right work, it affects not only their life but also their family—contributing to a cycle of disadvantage and social immobility. It’s therefore fundamentally important to ensure that those in lower paid positions are afforded the opportunities to education and training, thus helping them progress within their workplace, if not outside of it. Indeed, such a case would also benefit the economic and social mobility of the country.

According to the Education and the Workforce Committee, the recent “economic downturn is a reminder of how critically important education and training opportunities are to workers in an increasingly competitive global economy. Training and education can create jobs and help put Americans back to work”. Once an individual hits the job market they should be entitled to the same opportunities within an organization as anybody else. Yes, a college education is important but it’s also important to ensure those who work in the mailroom, for example, are given the tools to reach their full potential. Most professions are dominated by those educated in the best or private schools and from a handful of universities. Thus, it goes without saying that access to education and training is beneficial. But, what about those who want to work their way up the corporate ladder without these advantages?

Research shows that initial education and family background has less to do with movement within organizations. Because once someone has their foot in the door, their progression has more to do with self-motivation, self-development—along with the corporate training (that is, education and training) and company development opportunities provided by their employer. As in school, the harder you work in a company, the better you will do.

an infographic showing data about employed college graduates amid the discussion on the availability of education and training in the workplace

Other Education and Training Opportunities

For those who did not seek higher education or enter top colleges, it is important for organizations to offer job education and training and additional support to encourage workers to achieve more.  Those who do not necessarily see higher education as worth the time or money can improve their own mobility by working hard and committing with their chosen vocation or organization, and thus, climb the ladder that way. With the abundance of part-time, online and flexible courses available for job education and training, as well as corporate guidance to develop one’s skill set and gain new qualifications, formal education does not have to be the only means of improving one’s lot. As a matter of fact, improving an individual’s chances to get on in work will help drive and improve economic and social mobility.

According to Gallup, a majority of workers believe that a college degree is not needed to progress in the workplace. With 4 in 10 employed college graduates saying a college degree is not required for the work they do, students are increasingly looking at other means of education and training, such as vocational education, technical training, online education, self-directed learning, and internships to succeed. Thus, a key to ensuring progression in the workplace is by choosing a vocation with lifelong mobility. Ensuring that the choices made at the start of a career will enable one to have a smoother path to promotion and progression throughout.

Benefitting Overall Economic and Social Mobility

It’s true that employers are looking more at extra-curricular support for their workers— including online training and even funding workers through education and training —to ensure their workforce is the best in the business. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, college courses give employees new “general skills” that raise the ability of these workers to qualify for higher pay—their market wage—and allow them to more easily switch to another job in another company. It is, thus, the firm’s responsibility to supply their employees with these opportunities, which in turn ensures their company an overall professional edge within their industry. Other avenues, including internships and placements, can provide valuable opportunities for young people to gain extra skills, increase their understanding of the job, or to gain experiences in other areas. Once workers prove the competencies required within a specific area they will then be able to progress within that field. Progression in the workplace is the key to improving economic and social mobility in the United States.

At the end of it all, economic and social mobility depends on increasing fair access to jobs, and by providing education and training to those who might not have access to a formal or ‘top’ education achieves this goal.