Here is a retweeted 21st century wake-up call from John Sheridan Brisbane-based CEO of Business Digital Insights. As John sums up: revolutions aren’t easy and Australia is struggling as “governments, corporates and vendors of all kinds have to deal with new technology adoption when engaging with customers for their products and services.”
John asks if we are capable..Do we have the infrastructure? Do we have the networks? Do we have the leadership? Do we have the education? Do we have the guidance? Do we have the support? Do we have the authority?
Not yet, he says:
“We still don’t even have the affordable, fast, secure, broadband platform that we need to operate productively in this new environment, no matter what Mister Turnbull might say. You can’t play the game well, if you don’t have a broad, flat, accessible, well-maintained field to play on.. Just compare our broadband speeds and costs with those of our major competitors.”
“And our young Australians are far less prepared for the digital revolution than comparable countries, according to a report released at the World Economic Forum.
The report by Infosys, found Australia ranked last out of nine countries for young people being confident in their job skills and feeling optimistic about their future employment prospects.
The report found young Australians were among the most aware of the need to continuously learn new skills, but only 16 % had a strong interest in developing skills in data science and analytics, 18 % had a strong interest in building mobile apps and only 19 % had a strong interest in learning how to code.
These results were the lowest of the countries surveyed – Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States – all our major competitors.
Just 3.8 % of Australian young workers wanted to work for a start-up, the lowest of any country. Not much entrepreneurial spirit in our young.”
“Because our education system does not reward curiosity. It rewards curriculum.
And more than half of ‘the Australians’ surveyed believed their education had not prepared them for work.
The report found young people in education or entering the workforce in 2016 faced, “the most turbulent, rapidly evolving labour market seen by any generation..
The global economy is approaching a Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by increasing automation of the labour market – enabled by rapid innovations in robotics, artificial intelligence and smart technologies..
So our kids have been failed by the education system and by the lack of insightful careers guidance, support and leadership on this issue. Not good.
We are losing our ability to compete. And we can’t blame that on high wages.”
“Blame sits fair and square with education and ‘the curriculum’, skills and careers guidance (the lack of it), the undermining of VET (the TAFE system) and general lack of support and leadership…
we are educating our children for the 1950’s, not the 21st century.
We are publicly setting ‘feel good, sounds good’, objectives – ‘innovation nation’ – but not providing the mechanisms or the proper investment to achieve them.
Not Able…So Are We Ready And Willing?
“Attitude can be an even bigger barrier than capability, infrastructure, networks, leadership, education, guidance, support and authority…
Accenture highlights the growing resistance to adoption in the consumer electronic industry with heightened data security concerns, falling demand for smartphones and tablet PCs and stagnant growth in the Internet of Things market.
There is plenty of encouragement from government and vendors but plenty of resistance from customers who are not ready or willing to play the new game.
“Revolutions are never easy. And we are dealing with human beings not bricks.
Managing human beings is more like gardening than architecture or engineering.
The technology part of the revolution is all about engineering and architecture, but the human part is about trust, reassurance, education, explanation, sharing, collaboration and support.
So we can’t afford to be “cheap” with chips and sensors and security.
We can’t afford to be lax with governance.
We can’t afford to be cheap with the NBN.
We can’t afford to champion and support an education system designed for the industrial revolution not the digital revolution.
We can’t afford to promote digital technology and STEM, without investing heavily in our research agencies, especially the CSIRO and our universities.
And the cyber security growth centre for Australia can’t come soon enough.
Our Young Need Training In Initiative, Curiosity, Flexibility, Entrepreneurship
We can’t afford to let our kids flounder out the door into a work environment requiring initiative, curiosity, flexibility and entrepreneurship, when we have trained them to shut up, sit down and do what they are told.
We can’t afford to waste the experience and insights of our older citizens by barring them from productive work, through the blatant barriers and blockages of a “youth” biased HR and employment system…notwithstanding the efforts of the toothless age and disability discrimination commissioner.
We can’t afford short termism. Period.
We can’t afford not to keep up with our major competitors. Or we will wake up one day to find the mine and the farm just weren’t enough.
We have to see that these issues are all connected. They all join up.”
…This is a non-partisan issue that needs addressing.