> How RTOs can Up-skill the Future Workforce

How RTOs can Up-skill the Future Workforce

3 minute read


According to a report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), within 10 to 20 years it is projected that 40% of the Australian workforce will need to change their skill-set to meet the demands of our changing society. This is due to the three main forces that are rapidly developing – collaboration, globalisation and automation. These forces are altering the workforce drastically and in order to keep up with the skill-set required for this new workforce, Schools, RTOs, TAFEs, Colleges and Universities can play a part in equipping learners with the hard and soft skills required.

So how can the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector assist in future proofing the Australian workforce?

1. By looking at which skills will be in demand

According to the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) jobs will adapt requiring employees to hold a range of new skills listed below (least to most growth in demand):

  • Financial Literary
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Team Work
  • Presentation Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Digital Literacy

2. Introduce collaboration

Once entering the workforce there is a need for regular collaboration with coworkers, managers and customers. With this in mind collaboration during training will help develop this skill set rather than working in isolation or silos prior to joining the workforce.

3. Utilise technology in the learning environment

In general, there should be a balance of real-world application and the use of technology. However, where technology can assist with reducing risk and increasing lead times there is a tipping point for technology to grab more of a share in a student’s learning journey. As we are destined for the next industrial revolution, according to Business Analyst Irene Cyhmyn, more exposure to tech will prepare learners for things to come.

4. Encourage real-world application…

Critical thinking is essential to any position across all industries, yet it is easy to train ourselves to lack confidence in this area due to the availability of search engines on the internet. Encouraging students to experience more and rely less on tools is a great way to learn rather than memorise or constantly seek guidance.

5. Spark creativity

“Creativity should not be relegated to English class or the art room. There are places for all teachers to add creative elements to their school days.” Says Nicholas Provanzano. Learners need to realise that they can think outside the box and use their own thought processes, gaining autonomy. This can lead to a boost in self-confidence and in essence will help achieve a more creative workforce.

In summary FYA predict that there will no longer be lifelong professions. A 15 year old today will have approximately 17 jobs within 5 different industries over their working life. This indicates a strong requirement for ongoing training within a persons lifetime and is a huge opportunity for RTOs and the VET sector. Individual’s may not be thinking of career choices but instead up-skilling to suit a range of professions. It is envisaged that, as they move from one job to another, they will create an individual and customised profession.

Here’s to a creative and resilient future Australian workforce and VET sector.

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