Workforce of the Future – Rethinking Skills for the Jobs of Tomorrow

Workforce of the Future – Rethinking Skills for the Jobs of Tomorrow

As part of National Skills Week 2021, DSO's CEO Patrick Kidd was joined by leaders from the Skills Organisation Pilots in Mining and Human Services to share their insights and discuss the projects they are leading to respond to the current and emerging skills and training needs of their industries.

In welcoming the session, The Honourable Stuart Robert MP reiterated the need for our national training system to be more responsive to the skills needs of employers.

“​​Demand for people with skills, and advanced digital skills in particular, is projected to increase by an additional 71,000 workers by 2024,” he said.

“If we want our recovery from this pandemic to continue to be strong, training provided to Australians through our VET system frankly needs to be up to scratch.”

In addressing Australia’s digital skills gap, Mr Kidd emphasised the vast impact of digitisation on our nation’s workforce and its strong contribution to the economy.  

“Eleven years ago ICT was probably a back-office function,” Mr Kidd said. “Now it affects every single person in our economy, every schoolchild, every aged person, every person with different abilities. So it’s absolutely everywhere.”

As the DSO strives towards developing sustainable employer-led approaches to create a digitally upskilled, job-ready workforce, Mr Kidd nodded to the ongoing acceleration of technology and the pressing need for individuals to recognise the importance of upskilling and reskilling.

“There is a need for every person in our economy to uplift their own digital skills to keep us current with where technology is taking us,” he said.

With a number of projects and developments on the horizon, the DSO believes the solution relies on adopting a skills-based approach that supports the intent of building a workforce fit-for-purpose.

Not only will this approach unlock the potential of a more diverse pool of digital talent in the workforce, but it will assist in the uplifting of capability and promotion of life-long learning in order to drive continuous innovation.

“In many respects, digital skills are as increasingly important as reading, writing and arithmetics. Everybody’s got to have them,’ he said.

“Therefore, the way in which you enable a workforce to move freely and flexibly across different jobs, different roles, taking those digital skills with them, is to focus less upon the occupation, and more upon the skills that they need.”

As they look towards connecting training with jobs, the Skills Organisation Pilot’s took this opportunity to announce their collaborative partnership with school-lever service provider Year13, which aims to demonstrate the value and diverse opportunities of careers in their respective fields.

This collaborative educative campaign aims to empower young people to learn more about industry insights, related life skills and different career pathways in these booming fields.

“This is perhaps one of the greatest examples of how we can come together as the Skills Organisation Pilot's and collaborate ​​where it makes sense to do so,” he said.

The DSO’s partnership in particular will have a large focus on breaking down the stereotypes and stigmas of digital roles, highlighting the transferability and wide range of opportunities that digital career pathways present.

When asked for suggestions on where young people looking to enter the digital sector should start, Mr Kidd said there is an overwhelming sense to have a shift in attitude.

“It’s all about the potential,” he said.

“First and foremost everybody, irrespective of whether or not you come out of a particular type of educational background, has the potential to be successful in a digital career,"

“I encourage anyone interested in pursuing a career in technology to take one of the many assessments out there which help to point the way in terms of what a digital career might look like for you,” he said.

To view the full recording of this live stream event, please visit: Workforce of the Future – Rethinking Skills for the Jobs of Tomorrow

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