Response to Senate Committee report – ‘Future of work and workers”


The future of the world of work in Australia is once again being highlighted, with the handing down of a Senate Committee Report. Beacon Foundation welcomes the tabled report on the ‘Future of Work and Workers’, as it brings to the attention of Government and the wider community the disconnection between education and employment that still exists.

The focus of the inquiry was to consider how the Government should respond to trends in the workplace and how we prepare workers for the changing world of work.

For 30 years Beacon Foundation has been reaching out and connecting young Australian secondary school students to the world of work. We help prepare them for the workforce by teaching them transferrable skills, giving them job seeking and career management insights, providing work experience and exposure and building networks.

Beacon Foundation is pleased the Senate Committee noted that the workforce is changing, and changing fast. We know that with globalisation and technological change, the type of work and the conditions of work are being transformed.

CEO Scott Harris argues that the greatest concern around this is the way this change is affecting young Australians, through the growing casualisation of the workforce, a decline in manual work and entry level jobs and the risk of more jobs being automated.

“Beacon Foundation has consistently advocated for better integration between business, industry and schools … this is critical for setting up young people for success.”

Mr Harris agrees with a number of the Senate Committee’s recommendations, in particular that:

  • The Australian Government establish a central body to coordinate future planning for the future of work;
  • That this central body is pro-active in developing policies for the future work force for ‘at risk workers’;
  • There are better links between industry, education providers and unions, with a focus on tailoring courses to suit future jobs growth …
  • That we work to improve links between VET and tertiary education sectors, and modify school curriculum to ensure a better integrated education system.

He supports the Committee’s recommendations that more investment and an overhaul into our education system is required to support future workers.

“These calls are echoed in the ‘Gonski 2.0 report’, and are also front and centre of the consultation in the NSW Curriculum Review,  Mr Harris says.

“It’s time for the Federal Government to be pro-active with a long term plan for the future workforce of Australia – one that considers the risks that young people are facing.”

Beacon Foundation welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with government, industry and schools to create better linkages across the community. This will see young people have the skills needed to navigate the future world of work.

For more information:

Read the full Senate Committee report here.