By the time 2031 comes along, our current Kindergarten students will be in their final year of school. As Year 12 students, what skills should they be equipped with in order to step out into the rest of their lives as confident and contributing citizens? We do know that the skill set they will require and the context of their future workplace will differ significantly from what their parents prepared for. Skills such as creative and critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, self-efficacy and resilience are considered key skills for the 21stcentury.

There is an abundance of literature that observes the changing face of the workplace. The suggestion that we are preparing our students for jobs that don’t even exist yet has become a common conversation. In 2016, Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, coined a term, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. This was explained as a ‘technological revolution that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres’. The rapid development of artificial intelligence and technology that is integrating with our daily lives is having us reconsider how we need to prepare our students for a future that is relatively unknown. We do know that technological advancements are happening faster than ever. We also know that the workplace is becoming more digitised. We can also predict that the next twelve years in the realm of technology will see integrating technologies reach into areas of our lives that we may not yet have considered possible.

For this reason, as educators, we need to acknowledge the impact this has on a traditional education model, and act. We need to fully understand that while 21stcentury learning skills have arguably always existed in isolation, there is no question that the context in which they will be used is the significant differentiator when discussing this topic. These skills will be vital to students entering a workforce that will embrace technological advancements and value people who: have the ability to be creative and critical in their thinking; have strong skills in communication and collaboration; and show initiative to problem-solve and work independently with determination and resilience. At Snowy Mountains Grammar School, we are committed to seeing that our graduating class of 2031 and all those who come before and after them are provided with real-life learning experiences that best equip them for this wonderful world that awaits them.