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21st Century Capabilities to prepare for the future workforce

Work is no longer about stability.  Youth of today change jobs regularly, building their experience and career resilience.

Capabilities for the 21st Century

We’re in at the beginning of a growing global movement, which focuses on capabilities, rather than skills. It’s important to be aware of new capabilities, so you can prepare for success in a quick-changing, digital world. You need to be able to think analytically and creatively, solve complex problems and find solutions, work in teams and independently.  And there is much debate about skills and capabilities for the 21st Century.

Partnership for 21st Century Learning suggests seven core skills, including:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Cross-cultural understanding
  • Communications, information, and media literacy
  • Computing and ICT literacy
  • Career and learning self-reliance

The four C’s of modern learning are collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.  Agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurship, assessing and analysing information, and curiosity and imagination are also touched on.

Technology, coding & programming

Coding skills is the literacy of today, according to Digital Single Market.  However, there’s a talent shortage in coding and experts suggest there will be 825,000 jobs available in Europe alone by 2020.

Problem solving, teamwork and analytical thinking skills are needed for many coding jobs.  Initiatives like EU Code Week connects individuals with companies open to helping people learn code and this event spans across 46 countries.

Preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist is a challenge.  But then, if the education system focuses on capabilities, not current jobs, this can help future generations survive and thrive in their careers.

The Essential Fluencies is just one of many initiatives helping to develop skills that they need today and into the future.  Here are the main pillars of focus:

  • Problem solving: Youth need to know how to solve complex problems, immediately.
  • Creativity: Students need to think and work creativity, both online and offline to develop unique and useful solutions.
  • Analytical thinking: The ability for students to think analytically is important. This includes proficiency with comparing, contrasting, evaluating, synthesising, and applying independently
  • Collaboration: Youth must be able to collaborate seamlessly both online and offline, with real and virtual partners, globally.
  • Communication: While this has always been important, the ‘way’ we communicate has changed. Students should be able to communicate in multiple multimedia formats – through text, speech plus visually through video and imagery.
  • Ethics, action & accountability: This includes adaptability, responsibility, personal accountability, environmental awareness, empathy, tolerance, and global awareness.

Teaching 21st Century Capabilities is of great importance in a fast-changing world and it’s crucial for teachers and parents to be committed to future-focused learning.

From now until 2030, you’re going to see a dramatic shift in jobs.  The 21st Century Capability Framework is designed to help students, parents and teachers to look beyond what they think they know about future careers.

In a combination of curriculum integrated activities, open nights, networking sessions, industry connections, real games and resources, the program aims to get students future ready, when graduating high school or university.

If you would like to know about how you can help students develop 21st Century Capabilities please contact Jess Perry at jessica@careerblueprint.com.au.

December 2016

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