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Report says Australian Schools aren’t Preparing Students for Workforce

Report says Australian Schools aren’t Preparing Students for Workforce

Australia’s education system is stuck in the past and needs major reform if it is to better prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow, a Mitchell Institute report has suggested.

While the report considers school education, vocational education and training and university study, there was particular concern that schools were not giving students the skills they need to thrive as adults.

“Our education system was formed in the manufacturing era, it was not designed to teach students how to navigate complex environments and multiple careers,” report co-author Megan O’Connell explained.

“Young people need different skill sets to what is taught in the traditional curriculum if they are to thrive in high-tech, global, competitive job markets.

"Our basic education model hasn’t grown with the broader economy. Many young people are being left behind and without significant change, we can expect to see more missing out in the future.”

The Mitchell Institute said a recent meeting of leaders from government, education and industry reached agreement that Australian education has become too focused on traditional knowledge.

Professor Bill Lucas, a Mitchell international fellow, suggested in addition to the three Rs – writing, reading and arithmetic – there should be an emphasis on four Cs: creativity, critical thinking, curiosity and communication skills.

“Young people need to bring more than knowledge to the modern workforce. If you struggle to solve problems, collaborate or come up with new ideas, you won’t fare well in today’s or tomorrow’s job markets,” Professor Lucas said.

“Schools could play a leading role in developing capabilities in students that will help them thrive as adults. It is time to accept that what students have learned for decades is no longer enough – it is time to change.”

The report, Preparing young people for the future of work, also lamented Australian students’ stagnant or sliding performance on NAPLAN testing and on international testing measures. READ REPORT 


This years Catholic School Parents Conference, will be a conversation on the evolving role of parents in contemporary education as together with school communities, we prepare our children to be ‘fit for the future’, particularly for the work place of the future. READ MORE

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