We are always aiming to make learning and teaching relevant to the world students are growing up in. It’s frightening to consider the findings of this report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia where it states 40 per cent of Australian jobs could be replaced by technology by 2025. Australia is on the cusp of a new but very different industrial revolution. Technology is going to dramatically reshape our workforce in coming years and the nation’s ability to rapidly adapt to technological change, and even more importantly, innovate, will be paramount for job creation and our future economic success.
“The pace of technological advancement in the last 20 years has been unprecedented and that pace is likely to continue for the next 20 years,”
CEDA Chief Executive Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin
CEDA’s major research report for 2015, Australia’s future workforce? focuses on what jobs and skills we need to develop to ensure our economy continues to grow and diversify. More than five million jobs, almost 40 per cent of Australian jobs that exist today, have a moderate to high likelihood of disappearing in the next 10 to 15 years due to technological advancements, says the CEDA report.
To position Australia’s workers with the skills to adjust to emerging technologies and to maximise the nation’s human capital, the nation needs:
- A unified, overarching policy framework to guide the allocation of investment in edu- cation and training from early childhood to further education and training and tertiary education. This is currently lacking in the debate about various forms of education reform;
- To ensure all stages of the education process focus on instilling competencies rather than the retention of specific knowledge. With public funds being invested, it is important that the skills being taught are not firm specific, but instil broad competen- cies that represent a valuable public investment;
- The Commonwealth Government to examine extending the formal education system to include a public learning-focused childcare and preschool system in an affordable part of the early education package;
- Digital competency to be a basic competency for all workers in the future as Australia does not need larger numbers of computer programmers. Outside a few core areas, Australia lacks the size to become an ICT powerhouse. However, Australia will require ICT students with capabilities in architecting, designing and analysing to adopt international ICT developments if its industries are to stay globally relevant.