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The wrong skills for the wrong century

Marie Johnson | May 11, 2015
Why the gap between the digital literacy of our millennials and other nations is increasing and what we can do about it.

These people are the most exposed to the devastating winds of digital disruption. Just think about the tens of thousands of graduates being produced for whom there are no jobs and the impact of automation predominantly in jobs performed by women.

How can it be, that notwithstanding the billions of dollars spent by governments on education, and in this digital era, that the number of STEM graduates has collapsed.

The fact is across the economy - not just the IT industry - we need to bust some myths. And we need to tell the story that inspires the generation. That every part of the world that we live in and our society is shaped and enriched through technology. This is a phenomenally exciting time.

But as Catherine Livingstone points out, this is not just up to the government or the education sector. The education system alone cannot adjust quickly enough to recover from this collapse.

Fundamentally, the economy does not produce students literate for the digital era. And worse, according to the PWC report, the economy is producing skills for jobs that will cease to exist.

Rethink for the digital age
So a fundamental rethink of philosophy is required. The Australian Government, NICTA, the ACS and the AIIA have invested to establish the Digital Careers Program to work across sectors to catalyse action and to drive, inspire and incite demand.

Digital Careers is a collaborative national initiative of industry, research, primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions (universities and TAFE), and government focused on reducing the critical shortage of Australian ICT professionals.



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