According to the report, "It's the mix of skills that matters – a good balance across hard and soft skills will give younger generations the greatest advantage as they enter the workforce."
The report was carried out by the Regional Australia Institute and NBN and is titled Future of Work – Setting Kids Up for Success. The study reviewed job trends in Australia in order to gauge what will be required of those entering the workforce in the year 2030. A combination of IT skills and communication ability is set to be the ideal mix.
"Nerds and geeks have had a good run in the last decade, masking the enormous growth of 'people to people' jobs. Both attributes will be highly valued in the future labour market," said the report.
"As well as digital skills, more tangible attributes – entrepreneurialism, creativity and interpersonal skills – are becoming increasingly important to businesses and organisations.
"Many are calling for the integration of enterprise and entrepreneurialism skills into schools and universities. This could expand the investment in science and technology engineering and maths (STEM) to encompass entrepreneurship, art and design – expanding STEM to STEAMED. This reveals the growing value of soft skills in additional to technical proficiency."
The report anticipates that the jobs of the future will be "flexible, entrepreneurial and dynamic" and also highlighted the need for regional areas to be prepared for the changing job market by providing education with an emphasis on soft and hard skills, as well as establishing infrastructure and fostering entrepreneurial know-how.
The study offered the proviso, however, that many jobs that will need to be performed come 2030 have not even been conceived of yet, and that many of the jobs of today will be consigned to history by that year.
Responding to the study, Jack Archer, chief executive of the Regional Australia Institute, said there was "a lot of noise about the future of work and what it will mean" and that new pathways must be created to help children achieve the right balance between digital and soft skills.
A newly-released national report has indicated that the pre-schoolers of today will require a mixture of digital and computer skills and 'soft' communication and creative skills in order to be competitive in the jobs market of tomorrow.