The New Work Order: Are our youth prepared?

The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) has released a new report, which outlines a national enterprise skills strategy to better prepare young people for tomorrow’s workforce.

FYA, formed as a non-profit organisation in 2000, aims to provide increased opportunity and access for young people of disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as support their leadership development.

The group’s latest report – titled: The New Basics – cautioned that more issues are ahead for young people as “the most significant disruption in the world of work since the industrial revolution” begins to have an impact in the next decade.

To address this challenge, the FYA called for a national enterprise skills strategy in order to achieve the following:
• Begin early in primary school and build consistently, year on year, throughout high school
• Be provided with ways that young people want to learn: through experience, immersion and with peers
• Provide accurate information and exposure about where future jobs will exist and the skills required to craft and navigate multiple careers
• Engage students, schools, industry and parents in code-signing opportunities in and outside the classroom.
FYA CEO, Jan Owen AM, said the report highlights the need for Australia to invest in a national enterprise skills strategy, to ensure young people are equipped to navigate the increasingly complex future of work.

“This report shows that the changing world of work identified in our New Work Order report is now on our doorstep and young people need a new skillset to drive economic and social progress in years to come,” Owen said in a statement.

“No longer can a young person rely on the technical skills particular to their field of work to get their foot in the door.”

Owen added that young people will also need a toolkit of transferable enterprising skills including communication, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, digital and financial literacy.

“These skills are demanded across all occupations and industries, for example digital skills are not just required in IT and technology related fields,” she said.

“Digital skills are now required by employers for roles as varied as dentists, art directors, veterinarians and personal assistants. This is the new work order in action.”

In its annual report last year, the FYA warned that a major overhaul of Australia’s education system was urgently needed to prepare them for the future workforce.

The report showed that among 15-year-olds, 35% were not proficient in science, 42% were not proficient in maths and 35% were not proficient in technology.