Senior School News

Skilling our students for the future

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The future of work is increasingly becoming today’s reality for millions of workers and companies around the world. The findings of our latest Future of Jobs Report looks at the trends expected in the 2018-2022 period in 20 economies and 12 industry sectors. Here is what you need to know to be ready.

Skills growing in prominence include analytical thinking and active learning as well as skills such as technology design, highlighting the growing demand for various forms of technology competency. However, proficiency in new technologies is only one part of the 2022 skills equation. “Human” skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving. Emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence as well as service orientation are also set to see particular increase in demand relative to their current prominence today.

 Young people require capabilities to work in teams, solve problems and collaborate

Rebecca Vukovic

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A new Mitchell Institute policy roundtable report says young people are ill-prepared for the future of work and suggests that cognitive, social and emotional skills should be considered alongside or contribute to ATAR.

The report, Preparing young people for the future of work, says that currently at a system level ‘only narrow measures of education achievement and certain outcomes are captured, valued and prioritised’.

Impact on students and industry

The research shows school-leavers today are experiencing a journey from school to the workforce that is taking longer than those who completed school 10 or 20 years ago. Additionally, many low- and medium-level jobs are being automated or contracted offshore. The report says that some research estimates that 40 per cent of jobs in Australia are at high risk of being automated in the next 10 to 15 years.

‘For workers to benefit from the employment opportunities brought about by current and future technological developments, they will need to acquire a different set of capabilities than what is currently prioritised,’ the report says.

The researchers say that university education is undertaken by the majority of young people but knowledge alone garnered through tertiary education is not sufficient for employment. ‘Young people without capabilities to work in teams, solve problems and collaborate do not fare well in the labour market – a fate effecting around 40 per cent of science graduates.’

While many traditional industries like manufacturing have been in steady decline, the report notes ‘growth is seen in the ‘non-routine’ industries –­ those requiring innovation, creativity, problem-solving, relationships and responsiveness to changing circumstances’.