WorldSkills Australia and the OECD “I am the future of work” campaign results offers bold insights.
As the CEO of WorldSkills Australia, I’m proud of the strategies we employ to get the results we generate here in Australia through the competitions, initiatives and training opportunities we provide our young people. To stay relevant and tap into the global youth voice, we’ve collaborated with the OECD on a global movement to collect some incredibly helpful data around what the youth of today think about the future of work and how we can then create appropriate policies to support their vision.
The OECD “I am the future of work” campaign looked across 19 countries – the national members of the G20 – to dip into the attitudes, experiences and expectations of thousands of young adults, aged 18-24. In addition, 1,488 samples were collected through WorldSkills Members who supported the research by sharing the survey with their networks: Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
At WorldSkills Australia, young people are at the heart of everything we do! They are our spokespeople, beneficiaries, and our heroes, and we strive to reflect the authentic voice of the worlds’ youth in all aspects of the skills debates. The survey yielded some interesting and thought-provoking ideas. I’d like to take a moment to share a few of them with you.
I found it encouraging that around 50% of youth are confident that they will be able to find the job that they really want as an adult. This is where WorldSkills Australia can make a huge difference in the lives of young people by providing access to alternative pathways in VET to lucrative and in-demand careers. It’s one of the ways we create opportunities for our young people that sit outside the traditional University track.
The study found that a massive 71% of young people would welcome more help in getting a job while in school. Yet in Australia, young people’s opinions are fairly split about whether or not a formal school education will help them prepare for their adult working life. What this indicates is that our young people are hungry for more information about the variety of pathways they can take towards a fulfilling work-life beyond school. It’s a journey that begins earlier than their senior schooling and is a gap that we at WorldSkills Australia are conscious about addressing.
When it comes to switching careers, 69% of young Australians surveyed are both confident that they will have to retrain many times during their life, and that they will be able to confidently do so. And of the WorldSkills Australia members surveyed, 76% say they are excited about the prospect of being able to work flexibly.
Our young people think very seriously and deeply about their future work lives and as an organisation, WorldSkills Australia is committed to providing information and opportunities that respond to the needs and dreams of our members. I’m excited by their enthusiasm for flexibility, their willingness to try alternative careers, and their vision for a happy, sustainable future in work.
Click to view the OECD REPORT