How schools can prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce

How schools can prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce
A report released in November found that as youth prepare for an increasingly unpredictable workforce, Gen-Z are feeling unprepared and want a greater focus on creativity and hands-on learning.

The Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future report by Adobe found 91% of Gen Z students are feeling unprepared or only somewhat prepared for the workforce. What’s more, 95% of teachers reflect this sentiment.

Additional key findings from the study include:
  • 74% of students and 80% of teachers believe Gen-Z learns best by creating and hands-on experiences;
  • 79% of students and 71% of teachers wish there was more of a focus on creativity in the classroom;
  • 62% of teachers want more opportunities for hands-on learning in the classroom;
  • 98% of teachers feel their students will have careers that do not exist today;
  • 78% of teachers believe they need better tools to help prepare Gen-Z for the future workforce;
  • 44% of teachers believe their current school’s technology is outdated.

Across Australia, the Pathways to Technology (P-TECH) program is helping students bridge the university-work gap by facilitating STEM skills through school-business partnerships.

Last year, the Federal Government announced that it will support 12 P-TECH  schools across Australia as the Coalition continues to expand its innovation and science agenda.

Skilling Australia Foundation (SAF) has been contracted by the Federal Government to establish 12 new pilot sites – located in NSW, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania – in addition to the Geelong and Ballarat sites, where students are already doing workplace visits.
SAF CEO, Nicholas Wyman, said when it comes to preparing students for the workforce they’ll enter once they leave school, collaboration is the way forward.

“If we’re going to solve Australia’s economic woes of the growing skills gap and youth unemployment rates, sectors need to work together. And I speak from experience because every day I can see collaboration delivering results for young people across the nation,” Wyman told The Educator.

“There’s actually a pilot program that’s been humming quietly in the background since early 2016 that has schools, training providers, major Australian companies and multi-nationals collaborate thanks to the Australian Government’s $5.1M investment.”

A report by the NSW Business Chamber in November said that if the next generation is to be ready for study and work, responsibility must be shared by government, educators, parents, students and industry.

Illawarra Business Chamber executive director, Chris Lamont, said it was vital the school curriculum is redesigned and delivers education outcomes that ensure students are prepared for work or further study.

“Many employers advise that far too many young people they interview don’t have basic literacy and numeracy skills to start work when they finish year 12,” Lamont said.

“A quality education is more important than ever.”