Future Work Summit Report

On 31 May, I had the privilege of attending the 2018 Future Work Summit. The event featured a mix of experts from industry, management and academia. They spoke of informing curricula that will shape the mindsets of future leaders.

The room was asked to consider the following quote from Warren Bennis:

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”

According to recent data, automation threatens 800 million jobs globally. Anything that is “dirty, dull or dangerous will be a target for automation”, said Hon Craig Laundy, Minister for Small and Family Business. However, it appears the real issue is whether we as a nation are able to keep up with this displacement, and more so, whether we are skilling and willing the students of today for a workforce with so much uncertainty.

Consider this:

  • 70% of current jobs will be lost to automation by 2030
  • 65% of children in primary school today will work in jobs that don’t yet exist
  • 60% of current university students are studying for jobs that will either not exist, be disrupted or be radically changed
  • A child today will have a predicted average of 17 jobs in five industries during their working life.

De La Salle College is always evolving. Our Year 9 In9uiry program currently adopts several project-based tasks where students are encouraged to lead their own learning and learn from failure. This model of learning was backed by Sally-Ann Williams, Engineer of Google AustraliaShe said, “students should fail fast and learn from it.” Sally suggested that inter-disciplinary skills like leadership, communication, collaboration and time management were the non-negotiable skills students must have when entering the workforce in 2020. “These skills are best learnt through trying to solve complex problems”, she said.

Keynote speakers agreed that resilience would also help students prepare for the periods of transition they will confront both now and in the future of the workforce. Contemporary schools, like ours, have the opportunity to prepare our students for the impacts of digital disruption on their work lives. It is critical we continue to implement the curriculum in ways that give our students opportunities to develop the critical and creative skills that they will find so invaluable in the future.

Mr David Alexander
Director of Learning and Development (Experiential Learning)

Back to The Duce Issue 2018 08 - 7 June 2018