Much has been written about the risks that digitisation and automation pose to Australia’s economy and to the jobs of the future; TDA need not use this submission to address them. In short, the common thread, as far as the education sector is concerned, is that workers will need certain skills to succeed in a digital environment over the course of their careers. These skills will allow them to interact and engage with new and emerging technologies, and will give workers a value-added proposition over the technologies that risk making them obsolete.
According to the World Economic Forum, workers will increasingly need transferable employability skills across the social, information processing, and cognitive domains in addition to the technical skills and the knowledge that underpins them. The OECD predicted that future economic success would be underpinned by strong mid-level technical skills. In both these cases, employers, learners, and the national economy rely on the VET sector.
TDA recognises that skill development cannot be done in isolation, and affirms a prominent role for employers and governments. Employers understand the current realities of their sectors and are well positioned to identify their sectors’ future needs; governments are able to articulate what skills are needed for their economies to grow, and for their citizens to thrive. High quality training providers must also be included in this mix, as it is they who are able to determine how those skills can be delivered and assessed most effectively. This tripartite model, already present across many jurisdictions, must be revived in Australia.
TDA speaks on behalf of our members, who train the workers of today and tomorrow with the skills that they will need to succeed in their careers of choice, and that will enable employers and employees alike to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy. TDA’s submission is premised on the fact that – now and in the future – every worker is a digital worker.