The importance of 'future-proof' skills

Last week I attended the Anglican Schools Ascent Conference, held up the road at Noosa Heads. It was a fantastic time of catching up with educators to hear what initiatives are taking place other schools and listening to some thought provoking speakers. One speaker was Dan Gregory from The impossible Institute. Dan has achieved notoriety from appearances on The Gruen Transfer and Sunrise as well as his work with organisations in virtually every industry sector, including Coca-Cola, Unilever, The Australian Navy, The Banking Sector and The United Nations. His keynote was a highlight and centered around the importance of innovation, creativity, and collaboration for student success in the future.

The issues he spoke about are also very much at the forefront of thinking here at St Andrew’s. As we seek to prepare all students for an increasingly globally-connected and technologically-driven workforce, the skills and attributes that our students need are not necessarily going to be the same as those that have led to success in the past.  The World Economic Forum has found that five years from now, over one-third of skills (35%) that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed. These developments will transform the way we live, and the way we work. Some jobs will disappear, others will grow and jobs that don’t even exist today will become commonplace. What is certain is that the future workforce will need to align its skill set to keep pace. Download the full paper here.

Combined with change in skills, market experts are predicting our current generation of students will engage with up to 17 different jobs from up to 5 separate ‘careers’ in their working life (McCrindle, 2017), so there is a clear need for students to ‘future-proof’ their careers. St Andrew’s is aware of the need to balance strong academics within the current system, alongside the equipping of our students with the transferable tools, skills, and social attributes that will afford them future employment success. It is a big challenge but one that we are embracing for the benefit of each student in our care.

Mr Tim Barrett