LED Topic 3


Discussion Topic Three

The New Work Order: preparing young Australians for work of the future



This Discussion Kit is based on research undertaken by the Foundation for Young Australians (www.fya.org.au) on the future of work and implications for school education.


Work is important for the livelihood, dignity, and happiness of humankind. The prospect of a good job that pays a fair wage has been part of Australia’s promise to our young people. By many measures, Australia has continued to deliver on its promise in a time of relatively strong economic growth, high wages and low levels of unemployment.


But beneath the seemingly benign surface of Australia’s labour market, there is a quiet revolution occurring in the way we work. The old ‘blue collar’ part of workforce is barely recognisable today. Over the past 25 years, we have lost nearly 250,000 jobs from the technicians and trades[i]. Offsetting these losses, there has been an explosion of more than 400,000 new jobs in community and personal services. The work revolution is no less visible in ‘white collar’ jobs. Computers have swept through corporate towers and small business offices, displacing nearly 500,000 secretaries and clerks. At the same time, the increasing complexity of business processes and financial markets has created 700,000 new jobs across the professional and business services.


Young people already struggle with challenging pathways into work. Around Australia, nearly one in three young people are currently unemployed or underemployed. For those who are working (and not studying), the work is often part time.


The pace of innovation and automation sweeping through our workplaces demands that young people need more enterprise skills - like digital literacy, communication, bi-lingual skills, teamwork, problem solving and creativity - that can be used across multiple roles and occupations. An analysis by FYA of 4.3 million job ads in the last 4 years indicates that employers are already asking for these skills, yet many young people remain ill-equipped for what employers are demanding. We need to better promote these skills in our education and training systems.


This Discussion Kit considers steps that could be taken in schools to prepare our young people with the skills to thrive in this New Work Order.


[i] Author calculations by multiplying the change in the share of total employment in these occupation by the current size of the labour force



What is in this Leading Education Discussion Kit?

The Leading Education Discussion Kit for Topic Three includes:


  1. CSE Paper
    CSE Leading Education Paper number 258: The New Work Order: Preparing young Australians for work of the future Authors:Dr Jan Owen AM, & Rachel Mutch, Foundation for Young Australians
  2. Discussion Starter activities including:
    1. Three video clips edited from a keynote address by Dr Jan Owen AM, CEO, Foundation for Young Australians at CSE’s annual Teaching 21C Conference (2016). These short video clips set the scene for each Discussion Starter Activity
    2. Powerpoint of Discussion Starter Activities including:
      • Jan Owen's Bio Note
      • suggested relevant readings.
      • A Print Version to distribute to participants - optional
    3. The full keynote address from CSE’s annual Teaching 21C Conference (2016) with Dr Jan Owen AM.



    4. Discussion Facilitator Guide



Price: $385.00