Monday, July 24, 2017

Skilling for tomorrow - overview from Australian context

Anne Payton from the NCVER has provided a good overview, within an Australian context, pertinent to vocational education in NZ. The key points are well-summarised. The report was launched at the recent 'No-Frills' VET research conference held in Hobart. 
Within the Australia context, the effects of technology, social and demographic changes and these factors contributions to economic and labour market changes are discussed.
Future skills are extrapolated. Some of the findings are very pertinent to NZ although OZ is much larger and has a different economic base.

Some pertinent items of interest from citations –

The report proposes 7 ‘job families’ or clusters obtained through analysis of 2.7 million job advertisements – the generators (retail, sales, hospitality, entertainment), artisans (construction, maintenance, technical customer service), carers, informers (information, education or business services), coordinators (repetitive admin and behind the scenes process or service), designers (includes STEM), technologist. In a way, similar to work in NZ on vocational pathways
Carers, informers and technologists considered to be growth clusters.
If one trains for ONE job, one also attains skills relevant to 13 other jobs. In some jobs, switching to another job may only require retraining in one skill to obtain one of 44 jobs.

Another pertinent report is from Canada - another Commonwealth country with similar social, historical roots to Australia and NZ. The report on future proofing – preparing young Canadians for the future of work – 2017 The report has similarities to the Australian report above but also summarises the technological disruptions in to the near future.

Majority of the 42% of jobs impacted on by automation are currently done by people with lower income and less education. Although only 5% of jobs are fully automatable, 50% of jobs have a percentage of automatable tasks. Therefore, perhaps jobs are NOT eliminated but changed considerably. Increasingly, part-time, contract per project (gig economy) type work are ascendant.
Therefore, preparation for work includes the need to equip graduates with a broad range of technical and soft skills – digital literacy, entrepreneurship, social intelligence.
Most telling inforgraphic on page 15 – when asked ‘are Canada’s youth adequately prepared for the workforce?’ educational providers = 84% Yes whilst Youth only concur it at 44% and employers at 34%!!
Proposes the need for all sectors – public, private and non-profit – to work together. In particular to develop work-integrated learning models which are applicable across all sectors; explore digital literacy programmes for youth; identity and address potential barriers to youth entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship; provide timely labour market data, career planning and mentorship support to youth; enable lifelong learning and rapid, job-specific upskilling and training; and develop data strategy to build a stronger evidence base for policy and programme solutions.

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