Shaping the future workforce through education
Education is foundational to any society and has the power to determine its future. For Australia to remain competitive and at the forefront of innovation and education, it is crucial to understand the current trends, influences and challenges in the education sector.
Jobs of the future will require individuals to possess a broad range of transferable skills. As we head further into the age of digital disruption and rapid automation, more employers than ever are demanding enterprising skills – digital skills, critical thinking skills, creativity and presentation skills – among young employees, according to The Foundation for Young Australians (2018).
Anticipate the needs
Today’s education trends are shaping tomorrow’s workforce, which will require people to be competent in a broad range of transferable skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and communication skills.
Additionally, technology is making a palpable impact on the kinds of jobs available, with new jobs being created and placing others at high-risk of digital disruption. More than three in five professionals (62%) agree that many jobs will be at high risk of digital disruption in the future and that schools should embrace the use of technology to future proof students’ careers and their learning.
This presents an opportunity for Australia’s education sector to position itself to meet the changing demands of employers and future-proof the next generation. Nearly four in five professionals (78%) agree that if invested in correctly, creative, people-focused, leadership oriented or high-level communication roles can be effectively future-proofed as technology cannot effectively replace them.
Adapt to the challenges
Classroom teaching styles are adapting to the changing demands by incorporating new teaching methods and styles of learning such as greater interaction and collaboration in lessons. More than four in five professionals (83%) and seven in ten parents (71%) believe schools are much better today at engaging with students and their varied learning styles.
Schools that foster an experiential, hands-on approach to learning facilitated by teachers will help students cultivate the skills they need to be workplace ready. The most preferred style of teaching is teacher facilitating learning through interaction (56% professionals cf. 44% parents) followed by a learner centred environment where the teacher acts as facilitator (25% professionals cf. 26% parents). This combination of teaching styles is believed by professionals to effectively engage today’s learners.
Shaping the future
More than seven in ten professionals (71%) believe that the most important function of high school is to provide students with life-long skills they can apply in all situations (cf. 38% parents), while parents are more likely to agree it is to equip students with skills for the workforce (21% cf. 5% professionals).
Developing skills such as problem-solving, communication, creativity and critical-thinking in students today is essential in order to meet the growing demand for valuable life-long skills which will equip them for the changing workforce.
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