The Huddle hosts a Work Expo each year to connect young people with employers, offer pathways advice and explore career options in a rapidly changing world of work. In 2016, we had a focus on digital skills to highlight the changing nature of work and enable conversations on the impacts of technologies in a range of industries.
The Work Expo is a very positive experience where the goodwill of employers, trainers, community, teachers and young people come together in one space, to share what we know about employment and the world of work.
This year, through a series of workshops, young people considered global change due to new technologies, developed communication skills to prepare them for interviews and learnt how to build a safe online profile for the purposes of seeking a job.
They also took time to discuss different sorts of work with employers, trainers and trainees across a large range of industries. Employers have indicated that young people need digital, communication and interpersonal skills in order to be successful in the workplace. This poses a few questions for educators:
- What are ‘soft skills’?
- How are cultures and styles privileged or rejected in the context of assessing or judging ‘soft skills’ in a work place?
- Which digital skills are relevant? And to which industries?
- How can we get young people interested in soft skills or digital skills?
- Assuming we believe everyone has the right to work, whose responsibility is it to ensure that young people can acquire these skills?