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Are we educating our children for the future?

by Suzanne|July 6, 2016

Predictions that over 40% of jobs we currently know won’t exist in 15 years

Experts are forecasting that over 40% – or over 5 million jobs that currently exist, will not in 15 years time.

It’s no longer that technology ‘lifts heavy things’ and takes the place of traditional labouring tasks. Careers such as accountants, lawyers, real estate and even doctors are in decline and under threat in some ways due to the rapid improvement and implementation of technology.

Conversely, ‘service’ based roles such as beauticians, personal trainers and baristas are on the increase. These, however are often part time, casual and fragile in terms of stability as careers, not to mention lower-paying.

With the trials of driverless vehicles, both in cars but also heavy haulage trucks and mine site vehicles, that the transport industry will undergo a massive shift in the near future.

We have recently seen trials of bricklaying robots that will create significant changes in the building industry.

What does this all mean for future generations?

Thankfully, it doesn’t automatically mean that there won’t be jobs for our children and grandchildren. It does mean, however, that what jobs are available will be vastly different to those available now.

Coding, programming, operation and management of these automation and technology devices will provide the boom in employment in the future.

In a recent 4 Corners episode on the ABC, it showed a number of primary schools in South Australia teaching students coding of a robot to learn about the way of the future.

In Perth, technology company Secure2Go develop wearable and connected devices for industry to improve efficiency, accountability, security and management of their assets and improve the management and safety for employees.

In addition to their local employment and development strategy, members of the Secure2Go team are involved in a series of technology-based projects with local schools to expose students to potential careers in the technology field. The projects are designed to inspire early development of roles that can grow into future careers.

Secure2Go Managing Director, Wesley Lawrence is participating as a mentor in CoderDojoWA. This is an out of school hours activity that facilitates kids building digital literacy skills. Perth currently has the most ‘CoderDoJo’ projects in Australia, involving over 800 ‘ninjas’ who are developing their own projects.

“Coding is a tool that lets you write your story with technology,” according to the website www.coderdojowa.org.au

“In learning to code, kids develop the tools to talk to and master the technology around them,” said Wes Lawrence. “Without realising it they are developing skills that are technical and creative, and they are utilising higher order thinking and problem solving. They are learning to become creators and not just consumers of technology.”

Another Secure2Go team member is presenting to primary school students how he developed a series of micro power generation systems in some of the most isolated parts of Nepal. Part of the message highlights the ability of technology development to alleviate poverty and provide opportunities for employment, growth and economic development.

New employment paths will need to be followed as we are at a 40 year low for employment of university graduates in Australia. No longer is it the ‘guaranteed’ path it once was. Less than 70% of graduates are finding employment in their field of choice upon graduation at present.

Whether we like it or not, technology is the way of the future. Career choices have to take that into account or our youth will be following paths that will see them irrelevant to the future employment market. Our education system needs to take these major shifts into account and ensure that current and future generations are provided the training and skills to build a meaningful future for themselves in this rapidly changing world.

For more information on the technology products, training and development pathways being created locally by Secure2Go, please visit www.secure2go.com

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