Skills young people need for the New Work Order

27 June

In April 2016, the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) released another report in their New Work Order series entitled ‘The New Basics: Big data reveals the skills young people need for the New Work Order’.

The report focuses on trends of 2015 (disruption, innovation, digital literacy), and provides an important insight into what young people should be thinking about as they make higher education, training and employment decisions. 

Big data reveals the skills young people need for the New Work Order. The New Basics reveals that employers are placing a premium on enterprise skills at a time of significant change in our workforce. An analysis of 4.2 million job advertisements from 2012-2015 found there is rising demand for enterprise skills such as digital literacy (increased by 212%), critical thinking (increased by 158%), creativity (increased by 65%) and presentation skills (increased by 25%). Jobs ads that ask for these enterprising skills are offering significantly higher pay than those jobs not requiring these skills, and employers of younger workers are asking for enterprise skills just as often as role-specific technical skills. What’s more, the jobs of the future demand enterprising skills 70% more than jobs that are at risk of automation.

This body of evidence makes it incredibly clear, Australia needs to act to ensure our young people are prepared for the careers of today and tomorrow. FYA is renewing its call for a National Enterprise Skills Strategy, to ensure students across Australia are developing these skills inside and outside the classroom.

FYA’s focus is largely on using curriculum as the basis to structure change, citing examples of curriculum redesigns in Canada and Singapore. Changes to teaching methods are also highlighted, focusing on collaborative work, cross-disciplinary sessions and inquiry approaches and in class start-up projects. Partnerships with employers are also encouraged, so students can learn these skills in work-based environments.

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