Jobs of the future

A large-scale project recently released by Deakin University, Griffith University and Ford Australia, 'Jobs of the Future' noted that the future of work is changing rapidly, and is driven by several key drivers and trends, such as the progress of technology, changes in population and demographics and also globalisation.

“The three key forces that will shape the future of work are: automation: ever-smarter machines performing ever-more human tasks; globalisation: our workforce going global and the global workforce coming to us; and collaboration: many jobs, with many employers, often at the same time.” The New Work Order (Foundation for Young Australians, 2017b, p.11)

The project’s Executive Summary also identifies that a part of technological change includes “artificial intelligence, robots and big data, as well as innovation materials, propulsion and energy strategies…”. These changes have implications for jobs will be marked trends away from routine jobs and will require students to develop a new set of skills including “entrepreneurial skills, involving adaptability, autonomy and self-direction”, and digital STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills.

To support students in their development of digital and STEM skills, Tatachilla has created and extended a Digital Technologies curriculum from Year 7, with a focus on digital, coding and robotics skills and understanding. Immersion in these types of learning activities also extends students’ “soft” 21st Century skills in communication, collaboration and critical thinking. Students are also able to involve themselves in lunchtime STEM activities in robotics and coding and attend extracurricular activities such as Coding Club or participate in career visits to universities.

On Monday 12 August, a group of Year 11 Digital Technologies and Electronics students attended an excursion to Flinders University, Tonsley Campus, focussed on future skills software and electrical engineering, and future careers in engineering. Students were very enthusiastic about getting “hands-on”, participating in an Arduino Challenge. Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. In this workshop, students first use surface mount soldering techniques to construct their own ‘FlinBIT’ an Arduinocompatible shield with basic sensors and Wi-Fi capability, they then experiment with provided code snippets to see the sensors in action. The FlinBIT can be applied to all sorts of challenges, such as creating personal health and sleep monitors, fall detection, physics investigations, and more.

Our students greatly benefit from experiences in these emerging technologies. As stated in “Jobs of the Future”, it is necessary for “the public, and young people in particular, to gain an insight into what the future might hold, and how they might productively prepare for a rewarding place in it.”

Ms Jodi Gordon

Tatachilla Lutheran College
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