The New Work Standard

Photo by Noelle Otto on

Foundation of Young Australian’s new report asks what is good work in an increasingly deregulated job market and makes policy suggestions to turn that around.

FYA looks at what part time, casual, self-employed and gig work – or flexible work – means for young people, their livelihoods and careers.

The future looks bleak for many and we cant rely on free markets alone to to create new jobs. We’ll end up with generations of young people not living up to their potential or be given the opportunities that they deserve in life. Unless good work can be created by government backed up with training pathways for skills of the future. Lets give our children a future they deserve.

#futureofwork #skillsofthefuture #NewWorkStandard

Morning’s awakening

Sitting quietly
Taking in morning’s awakening
Listening to the world
As it slowly comes to life.

Homelessness Week 2-7th August 2020
Sitting quietly
Taking in morning’s awakening
Listening to the world
As it slowly comes to life.

Taking in the aroma
Of fresh coffee brewing
And intoxicating aromas of bread baking
Just right.

I sit
Carefully reading
Today's crumpled paper.
News that matters little
In my humble
And simple life.

Footsteps echo
With furtive glances
Of daily commuters
Scurrying by.
Looking down
With pity
In their eyes.

Senses on autopilot
Simply unaware
Of the rapturous moment.
This precious time.

Sitting quietly
Taking in morning’s awakening
Listening to the world
As it slowly comes to life.

Better insights not revolution in the education sector

If 73 senior professors wrote me a letter I would listen as we simply cannot afford to get this wrong.

The governments well intentioned objective is to “...better align Commonwealth funding to emerging labour market priorities, including nursing, health occupations, teaching and IT“.

Surely providing student more data and insights on skills of the future, occupation pathways, employability and revenue potential would surely have been a less drastic starting point? Ultimately better informed students would vote with their feet and we would achieve the same outcome while remaining true to open market principles.

#educationindustry #educationreform #skillsofthefuture

The road to open badges and microcredentials

Open badges and microcredentials with their focus on competency-based recognition rather than time spent learning will become important foundations for rebuilding our economy and equipping people with the skills of the future.

Open badges and microcredentials with their focus on competency-based recognition rather than time spent learning will become important foundations for rebuilding our economy and equipping people with the skills of the future. They won’t help institutions to figure out what should be in a course but they standardise a way of displaying it with key metadata including links to evidence.

The highly visual nature of open badges, especially when designed well, gives more faith to future employers on the skills of the badge recipient.

Its still a confusing field.

The following article is a great overview for educators looking to for a practical understanding of this emerging field and ecosystem.

Kyle Clements, Western Governors University

Richard Edward West, Brigham Young University

Enoch Hunsaker, Brigham Young University

#openbadges #openeducation #skillsofthefuture #digitalbadges #educationinnovation

The empty classroom

The empty classroom by Vinod Ralh
Photo by Barry Zhou on Unsplash
Tables of stature half height
Dust settling on mornings glow
Chairs tucked in 
For once 
Lined in a row.

Silence deafeningly unnatural 
Fills the room
Remnants of children's laughter 
Poignant reminders
Remnants that reverberate
Faint shadows.

Dusk pervades the classroom
Teachers weep at time now frozen
As a generation now chilled
For their time has been stolen
Lives full of promise 
Remain on hold.

NSW seeks new vocational training options for school students – SMH

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Understanding why 47.5% of TAFE NSW students failed to complete their courses between 2001 and 2017 will be critical to any reform.

The increasingly intertwined pathways across secondary schools, vocational education providers, universities, government, industries and corporations will also require a different approach to complex systems thinking.

Confused students and parents will need better articulation of pathways to make the right decisions on future careers.

Lessons also need to be learnt to better support the concepts of lifelong learning and open education.

David Gonski and Professor Peter Shergold are leading a review of the NSW VET sector and its results were originally due in July though Covid paused it.

JobTrainer 2Bn investment

An additional $2Bn for training and re-skilling is certainly a welcome announcement by federal government as well the additional $500M from states. It does require states to sign up to much needed reform – but thats not such a bad thing in an overly complex vocational education sector.

A question remains on course completion rates – how will we encourage people to not just start courses but also successfully complete them. Where courses are completely digital that is less of an issue as production costs are a one off. But if they need online trainers or in location training that can become an expensive issue. So how do we equip learners with the knowledge to pick the right courses, ones they are likely to complete and also provide them viable skills of the future in in demand industries? There needs to be a carrot and not just a stick approach.

Perhaps processes such as those provided by Khan Academy for teachers to monitor progress of student classes gives us a clue on how this can be done at scale?

For professionals looking at short courses – subsidies to global providers such as Linkedin Learning, Udemy, Coursera, Edx, Pluralsight, SkillsShare and others – would be a valuable additional option to locally created short courses. A small monthly sum typically provides access to 1000’s of courses and for large cohorts of self-sufficient people, that’s probably all they really need.

An elephant remain firmly planted in the centre of the room. Training alone will never be enough as people need ultimately jobs. Waiting for industry alone to create jobs will simply take too long and a large pool of unemployed and underemployed already exists. A generation’s talent will be wasted unless more is done.

Coalition to commit $2bn for training if states agree to overhaul of vocational education – The Guardian

Time for job guarantee for our youth

31.5% (659,000) unemployed or underemployed young Australian’s nationally, writes Helen Connolly is SA Commissioner for Children and Young People in InDaily.

Clearly, something different needs to be done unless we want long term underutilisation to become the norm for our youth.

One step is to help them learn the skills of the future through educational options and a second is to guarantee them jobs and not rely on industry alone.

Brotherhood of St Laurence 2017 Report – Generation Stalled – Young, Underemployed and Living Precariously in Australia shows the worrying dual threat of unemployment and underemployment. Covid-19 would only have made this much, much worse.

The ABS 2017 source data for the report can be found here:

COVID catch-up: helping disadvantaged students close the equity gap – Grattan Institute

Recommendations from Grattan Institute to invest more in disadvantaged students and reduce the education gap. Using university students and undergraduates in small study groups also gives them a much needed source of income. All seems pretty reasonable to me.

SBS article:

I’d also add noise cancelling headphones to those students in crowed, noisy households – they certainly work well to make open plan offices palatable.

Grattan COVID catch-up: helping disadvantaged students close the equity gap report :
#skillsofthefuture #educationmatters #disadvantaged Julie Sonnemann Peter Goss

Centrelink debts have been collected based on income-averaging for 20 to 30 years – The Guardian

Perhaps we should get a high school kids knock something up over a weekend if its too hard for Services Australia 😉 What makes it so hard?

“Robert defended Services Australia for its plan to refund a portion of the 470,000 illegal robodebts in instalments, explaining that 7,000 will be repaid in instalments “because there is a check in the system” that prevents repayments of more than $6,999.”

#robotdebt #poverty