Major skills mismatch has its roots in primary school – report

Major skills mismatch has its roots in primary school – report

The mismatch between children’s career aspirations and labour market demand could undermine the fourth industrial revolution, new research shows.

The report was released last week by the OECD and Education and Employers, a UK based charity created in 2009 which aims to provide young people with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to help them achieve their potential.

The two organisations found that the skills mismatch those currently being experienced in the labour market – an issue which has its roots in primary school.

The report identifies a number of global trends, drawn from another recently published OECD report, Trends Shaping Education 2019, that are having an impact on education systems.

The trends include globalisation, social change, digitisation and longer working lives, which present major challenges for schools and communities seeking to ensure that all children are adequately equipped for the future.

According to the report, the key lies in widening children’s view of work.

To achieve this, national campaign Inspiring the Future Australia (ITF) is connecting volunteers from the world of work with both primary and secondary school students through a secure online platform.

ITF’s primary school focussed campaign called Primary Futures aims to challenge gender and cultural stereotypes, as well as encourage primary school students to engage with important skills in numeracy and literacy.

This is done through school-based activities that enable students to meet volunteers from different careers, hear about their job and ask them questions.

“We now know that this mismatch is set at a young age and heavily influenced by socio-economic background, gender and the role models seen by children,” Nick Chambers, CEO of Education and Employers, said.

“This means we need to engage with children early on to help inspire their interests and career aspirations. They are our future workforce and key to the success of the fourth industrial revolution."