Australia’s Education System Failing Young to Prepare Young People for the New Economy

As the school year draws to a close and Year 12 students get their results, the Foundation for Young Australians CEO Jan Owen has called for a new approach to better equip young people with the skills needed to navigate the future of work. 

Australia’s education and training system has gone from great to good, when measured by UNICEF and PISA.  According to FYA, it is failing to equip young people with the skills and capabilities needed for work in the new economy, because one in five unemployed young people are long-term unemployed, more than a quarter of graduates believe their roles are unrelated to their studies, and about a quarter of 19 year olds haven’t completed year 12 or vocational training. 

Rather than focussing on transmitting information to students, the education system needs to create student-centred learning experience supporting autonomous, continuous learning in real world environments.  This involves promoting collaboration, problem solving, making and designing, empathy and emotional acuity.

FYA also raises questions about the extent to which the new skills can be learned on the job, and the extent to which existing workers possess these new skills, if they weren’t built in to their education and training.

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