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The jobs of the future are constantly changing – one thing you can be certain of is that you will need to develop an adaptable and inquisitive attitude if you want to remain employable - Photo ©123rf.com

Editorial – December ’17 / January ’18

How can our kids prepare themselves for the future workplaces that are likely to be driven largely by automation, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things?

At this time of the year, we always run a human resources feature in FTD, which tends to look at your options for training and employment and how to improve them. This year’s feature stories are far more forward-looking than usual, ranging from the large number of changes that are likely in New Zealand’s employment law under the new Labour-led government, to how to prepare for jobs that don’t even exist yet.

At my son’s prize-giving evening recently, in his address to the senior school-leavers principal Michael Williams talked about the future and the exponential growth in technology. “If you think change has been fast up until now, the next five to ten years will be like an explosion,” he warned. “What will the future look like? I don’t know. What jobs will you be doing? I don’t know.”

He has a point. For many kids just about to leave school, the future is more uncertain than ever. Even in just the 12 years they have spent at school, they have seen the advent of the iPad, Facebook, YouTube, Google apps, the cloud, 3D printers, Spotify, and a host of social media channels such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. For many of them, the jobs they will hold down in the next five to ten years probably don’t even exist today. 

So how can our kids prepare themselves for the future workplaces that are likely to be driven largely by automation, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things? “I like the ideas of Chinese American professor Yong Zhao,” Mr Williams said. “Don’t try and compete with computers. Focus on what they can’t do – be human. Focus on what it is to be human – be creative, innovative, imaginative and empathetic.”

You can read more about preparing for the future workplace in an article by Nick Deligiannis of recruitment specialists Hays in this edition of FTD. “The jobs of the future, and the exact skills required to perform these jobs, are constantly changing. One thing you can be certain of, however, is that you will need to develop an adaptable and inquisitive attitude if you want to remain employable,” Nick says.

On behalf of all of us here at FTD, I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year!

Until next time ...

Lynne Richardson, editor

lrichardson@astonpublishing.co.nz


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