A new work studies elective will provide job-seeking etiquette and employment skills to high school students.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is seeking endorsement from the Education Council for the year 9 and 10 elective, to provide the training and resources needed by Generation Z (5-19 year olds) to enter the workforce.
The previous Work Studies elective aimed to teach students to understand the work environment, skills for success in the workplace, critically assessing personal and social influences on individuals and a knowledge for understanding employment options.
But the new so-called “world-class, future-oriented curriculum” is designed to assist students in developing workplace knowledge, career management, resilience in the face of demand and change, and diverse interpersonal, literacy and numeracy skills.
ACARA CEO Robert Randall said the focus would be on the modern-day workplace, practices and expectations.
“In this new curriculum, students learn to understand what work is, how and why it is changing, and what this means for their future in working for others or themselves,” he said.
“Through a mix of applied learning and work exposure, students gain a better understanding of work and places of work.”
Social researcher Mark McCrindle told The Newsroom Gen Z was the most “formally educated” generation yet.
“We haven’t had much experience with them [Gen Z] as a society because they’re still students, so there’s not much known about them and there’s not a massive negative perception,” he said.
“It’s quite interesting because at this point in life the Gen Ys (20-37 year olds) already had a negative label. When they [Gen Y] were in their teenage years people were already calling them slackers.”
Mr McCrindle said, “Generation Y is accurately labelled Generation ‘Why?’. Articulate, skeptical and not afraid to push-back, this low-compliance generation has entered a high regulation society.”
ACARA general manager Dr Phil Lambert told The Newsroom, “Gen Ys are fabulous, but the world is changing and the way individuals work in their social life isn’t necessarily the same sort of expected behaviours in the workplace, so it’s really about preparing students so they actually don’t learn the hard way.”
Dr Lambert also said the new program would prevent mistakes being made prior to employment and during employment “so they don’t make major errors that could have an impact on their career and their advancement”.
“We are moving rapidly towards a more service-dominated industry and therefore you need to think carefully about the work you’re entering and make careful decisions,” he said. – Bianca Mureddu
Top photo by Daniel Walker.