PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION FOR THE UNKNOWN FUTURE WORKPLACE

Ariellah Rosenberg, CEO of ORT SA writes about how to prepare ourselves and the next generation for the unknown future workplace.

 It seems that the more technologies bring relief and comfort to our life, the more we get confused about what the future holds for us.

I remember myself, as a child in the seventies, getting excited about TV broadcasting in colour, waiting anxiously for my favourite programme, which I could only watch on a specific day and time. Nowadays?  The internet has brought about changes that impact on everything we do. Open Source Technology has enabled us to watch our favourite series anytime that suits us, anywhere, as long as we hold a device with connectivity.

Whether we are baby boomers or Generation X, we can witness the difference between us and Generation Y and Generation Z – those who were born into the mobility of technologies and their ubiquitous manner (presence everywhere or in many places simultaneously).  Technologies have transformed how we trade, how we communicate, how we monitor our health and our finances. The list goes on and on. The internet changed the way we talk to each other (no need to talk, there is WhatsApp), the way we let everyone know about a special event (WhatsApp Groups) and even the ways in which we buy presents (online shopping).

What does this mean for the workforce of the future? The thing is, that we do not really know what the future will look like due to the continuous exponential growth of technologies and how they endlessly impact our lives in ways we never imagined.

The present schooling system was formed during the 1st Industrial Revolution to equip a specific kind of workforce. Moving from hand production to machines required workers that fit the manufacturing industry. This is different from what is expected to evolve through the 4th Industrial Revolution. But this same 250- year old set-up for education delivery is still used nowadays and everyone agrees that it is not relevant to the workforce of the future. How can we as educators, policy makers and parents adjust to those changes? I believe the answer lies in three fundamental factors:

Personal Development, Mental Development and Equipping young learners with the basic skills of coding and programming.

For details, see our following blog post.