Dean of Pastoral Care
Pastoral Care and Preparing for the Future
As Microsoft Australia’s Education Sector Director, George Stavrakakis, recently stated ‘I’m not particularly interested in one’s academic achievement alone. What I want to know is if this employee is collaborative, is able to think creatively to solve problems, is prepared to take calculated risks whilst being resilient and can thrive as an individual and within a team.’ (The Digital School, Vol 42 No. 1 May 2017 Independence.)
Our world is constantly changing and evolving almost faster than feels reasonable. From technological innovations to scientific advancement and social change, our lives – and our children’s lives – are shifting more rapidly than ever. When it comes to education, these changes are occurring in and out of the classroom, requiring us to prepare students for a boundless world, remarkably different to one that existed just a couple of decades ago.
Schools have long privileged the academic domain and are now being challenged to map a student’s growth and progress across more than just the traditional disciplines. Employers want to know more about students, the breadth of their experiences, and their aptitude for technical detail, team work and innovative thinking. It is often a candidate’s pursuits in music, sport, culture, community service, and entrepreneurship, and the diversity of these interests, that make them a great fit for an organisation.
The New Basics Report
The fourth annual report from the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) details the ‘New Work Mindset’, which considers shifts in education relating to three key changes in the global economy and workforce: automation, globalisation and collaboration. For students, it’s crucial that their education, knowledge and methods of education not only reflects the skills needed for future opportunities, but sets them up for the environments and types of employment they will face after completing school.
Where the Australian workforce once focused on individuals honing singular job-specific skillsets, today, many industries favour those with a diverse range of knowledge, expertise and enterprise skills. These are transferable skills, the kind of knowledge beneficial to a wide range of industries and positions, proven to assist with long-term goals and employment achievements. For example, writing, research, problem solving, creativity and teamwork skills are hugely beneficial to any kind of informational, teaching, marketing or communications role, while interpersonal interaction skills can be adapted across a myriad of sales, retail or entertainment careers.
It’s incredibly common, today, for people to shift between careers and industries, developing a ‘portable’ skillset allowing young people opportunities across a multitude of industries, jobs and environments rather than following a single, linear career path to retirement. A diversity of portable skills is critical to succeeding in a globalised workforce that values an enterprising spirit and can-do attitude.
Let’s put the evolving world into context: in the past 25 years, one million Australian jobs in manufacturing, administration and labouring have been lost. In their place, though, one million jobs within the knowledge and service industries have been gained (FYA 2015).1
According to the FYA, the skills acquired in a single job today can equip young people for 13 other jobs, meaning the opportunities and potential for employment can be endless, if properly harnessed. Instead of identifying specific industries or positions, young people are now tending toward job ‘clusters’, where a large number of jobs and industries require overlapping technical and enterprising skills. Many companies have shifted from corporate-ladders to corporate-lattice thinking, which “represents career paths that change continually and adaptively through multidirectional, zigzag movements”.2
Having analysed millions of Australian job opportunities, the FYA have identified seven new job ‘clusters’ in the Australian workforce.
The 7 new job clusters (FYA 2017)3:
- The Generators: Industries including retail, sales, tourism and hospitality, which require strong interpersonal interaction.
- The Artisans: Jobs with manual skills, such as production, construction and maintenance.
- The Designers: Jobs which apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, like engineering and architecture.
- The Technologists: Jobs that require an understanding of digital technology manipulation and creation, like software engineering and web design.
- The Informers: From education to business services, these roles provide information to other professionals and industries.
- The Coordinators: These jobs focus on behind-the-scene processes, such as logistics or administration.
- The Carers: Jobs which aim to support and improve mental or physical health and wellbeing, from medical to personal support.
Viewing the future of young people and the workplace through the lens of these clusters lends itself to diverse, adaptable enterprising skills. For instance, roles within the Designers cluster might require enterprising skills like problem solving, computer-aided design, collaboration and project management, while jobs within the Informers cluster are benefitted by skills including data analysis, critical thinking, communication skills and writing.
How does Pastoral Care at Loreto Normanhurst equip our students for success?
A key focus point in Pastoral Care at Loreto Normanhurst is to integrate the FACE curriculum into everything we do. One way in which students are encouraged to do this is through Experiential Learning (EL). EL by its very nature is ‘active’ learning and students tend to become highly engaged in activities that allow them to apply their learning experiences to real-world experiences and problems. Further, EL experiences allow students to reflect on, evaluate and reject or accept that to which they have been exposed. Carefully structured EL activities are increasingly more important in schools as they develop within students their competency in understanding cultural, social, religious, global and emotional issues. EL activities broaden students’ horizons beyond the academic domain and generally require them to utilise 21st century learning and enterprise skills that often feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar.
Loreto Normanhurst offers a wide, diverse range of pastoral care opportunities for our students to expand their understanding of their future work environment, and to develop practical and enterprise skills. This is achieved through the House programs, Conversations, immersive experiences, leadership opportunities, guest presenters and chances to participate in external programs and initiatives. These opportunities demand in our students the need to be risk takers, to step outside their comfort zone, to work with and collaborate with others. It requires students to adapt to an expanding learning environment that transcends traditional classroom and learning spaces.
There has never been a more exciting time for young people to make their own careers and futures. Loreto Normanhurst is able to offer an innovative Pastoral Care education and enterprise opportunities for our students, preparing them to make their mark on the world of tomorrow.
Mr Justin Madigan
Dean of Pastoral Care
1 Foundation for Young Australians (2015) “The New Work Order: Ensuring young Australians have skills and experience for the jobs of the future, not the past”
2 Benko, Cathy (2010) “The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work”
3 Foundation for Young Australians (2017) “The New Work Mindset: 7 new job clusters to help young people navigate the new work order”