State could be ‘left behind’ in training: Report

by L&D27 Sep 2016
Over the next 20 years or so, Queensland’s labour market will be fundamentally reshaped by technological advances and a number of economic challenges, according to new research.

The report entitled, Transitioning Queensland's Workforce: Developing the skills needed to power our future economy, looked at the needs of the state's future workforce and how to develop the skills needed to boost the economy.

It found that aside from Tasmania, Queensland has the lowest proportion of 15-75 year olds with bachelor degrees or above. It also discovered that Central and North Queensland were hit particularly hard as a result of the mining downturn, and the youth unemployment rate of 33% in Outback Queensland is the highest in the nation.

Moreover, it said that in Queensland:
  • One in two businesses have faced a need to provide literacy and numeracy training for their employees.
  • 70% of businesses are unaware or do not participate in government funded training programs.
  • 80% of businesses would like to see universities provide more practical experience for student.
In response to the aforementioned challenges, the report sets out six key priorities for preparing the future workforce:
  • Setting strong foundations to develop 21st century skills
  • The right structure for career development and mentoring
  • Leveraging the workforce through lifelong learning
  • Leveraging science, technology, engineering and maths skills to drive the digital workforce
  • Building regional capacity for entrepreneurship
  • Industry engagement to drive sustainable growth
It also claims that as an increasing number of nations around the world move towards a knowledge economy, “21st century skills” will be required by people in order to succeed in this current business environment beyond literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills.

“Such skills include collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, persistence, curiosity and initiative - skills which are difficult to embed in curriculum,” said the report.

“Jobs in the 21st century are increasingly becoming centred on using data to find solutions to unstructured problems. With the rise of automation and the digitisation of more routine jobs, new roles are being created in areas needing interpersonal and non-routine analytical skills.

“These roles will be found predominantly in high-skilled knowledge and service-based industries such as professional and technical services, health, education and finance.

“A number of factors determine how Queensland can succeed in ensuring these skills are embedded in its workforce.

“This includes boosting human capital through improving teacher quality and attracting top talent by giving the teaching profession the recognition and remuneration it deserves.”