How MIW is preparing for future skills

October 2020

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change the workforce, prompting many of us to wonder about the jobs of the future and what skills are needed to secure them.

We revealed in previous articles how skills in information technology are in high demand across the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region. 

Some of our very own businesses have shown how these skills, combined with an entrepreneurial mindset, can help build and grow successful businesses.

But as Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson noted during the Transformation Region Summit, “ten years of transformation has been compressed into a single year” due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

There are events we simply cannot predict, but if we look at today’s trends and start preparing for the jobs of tomorrow, we can get ahead of the curve.

So how are we doing this exactly?

GW3 is helping the region prepare for the future of work by providing the evidence and data to support a collaborative response to embrace the region’s transformation.

A major part of this work is the MIW Future Employment Study which will provide a clear roadmap for the region’s workforce by examining what skills can be taught today to prepare workers for the future of work. 

Released on 30 September 2020, the report reveals that while each sector will behave differently, the common thread is that jobs across the region will change due to emerging technologies. 

While many jobs will change, new jobs will emerge which means the challenge to adapt will be shared by employers, education providers and the community.

The report suggests that all sectors will see an increase in information and communications technology (ICT) related roles. 

This surge in high-value jobs presents a big opportunity for the region, but more must be done to ensure pathways to training and employment are clearly identified, funded and promoted. 

The report also speaks to the need for strong leadership to help communities navigate the changing workforce.

Coordinating education services, employers and governments toward this shared goal is the Mackay Regional Jobs Committee (RJC) which is working to ensure all MIW residents have the skills they need to thrive.

Led by GW3, the Mackay RJC works with major employers from the region to identify the emerging skills gap and develop strategies to address them.

The Mackay RJC will release a series of recommendations this November to prepare policy makers, educators and businesses for workforce changes over the next 10 years, but soft skills and information technology skills will play a major role in the outcomes of this project.

Some of the high demand skills that have been shared by employers are communication, both written and verbal, along with analytical thinking, problem-solving and adaptability.

The Mackay RJC believes early career professionals with a growth mindset, ability to work independently and strong evidence based decision making skills will be valued employees in tomorrow’s workforce. 

In the meantime, you can start to build or brush up on your digital literacy and information technology skills with Microsoft’s free online resource, catered to new entrants to the digital economy who can earn a  micro-credential toward their next job! 

The Transformation Region platform is also your gateway to MIW’s transformation, providing real world examples of how the community is embracing new skills, resources to help navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution and opportunities to share different perspectives on the future of work.

Contributing to the conversation and staying up to date with the latest articles is a small step toward future-proofing our region, so subscribe to Transformation Region and have your say in one of our forums.

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