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The Future of Employability: Bridging the Skills Gap and Embracing Emerging Trends

The Future of Employability: Bridging the Skills Gap and Embracing Emerging Trends

September 17, 2023

The recent ICMS Employability Symposium featured an insightful panel discussion on the future of employability, education partnerships, skills gaps, and emerging trends.

With a diverse set of panelists, led by Dr Prashan Karuthanratne, and including experts from various fields, the session explored the evolving landscape of the job market.

In this article, we will delve into the key takeaways from the discussion and explore the implications for both job seekers and employers.

Panelists’ Perspectives

Dr Betul Sekendiz: Innovation-Driven Employability

Dr Betul Sekendiz, who specialises in risk management in the sports sector, emphasised that the future of employability is closely tied to market demand.

She highlighted the need for innovation in responding to evolving market dynamics. Dr Sekendiz’s insights underscored the importance of adaptability and staying ahead of the curve in the ever-changing job market.

Dr Sekendiz is part of the Senior Academic Team at ICMS and is International Sport College Australia (ISCA) Program Manager.

Scott Brown from SEEK: Promising Trends

Scott Brown, representing SEEK which is Australia’s number one employment marketplace, shared valuable insights into the job market.

He noted a significant increase in job advertisements on the SEEK platform, coupled with rising salaries. Significantly, he also pointed out that candidates are increasingly seeking meaningful work, and this shift is reflected in job postings.

Brown also mentioned a growing focus on initiatives for minority groups, indicating a more inclusive job market.

Andrew Tatrai: Changing Expectations

Andrew Tatrai, from the ACES group, discussed the challenges posed by changing expectations among different generations. He touched upon the evolving landscape of industrial relations and how this can make recruitment and retention more complex.

Tatrai’s perspective highlighted the need for businesses to adapt to the changing demands of a diverse workforce.

Baron Wills from Salesforce: The Bright Future of Employability

Baron Wills, representing Salesforce, expressed optimism about the future of employability. He emphasised the importance of adaptability in the job market, echoing Dr Sekendiz’s sentiment.

Wills underlined that individuals who can embrace change and continually update their skillsets will be well-prepared for the future job market.

Changing Landscape of Employability: Employability Skills Redefined

A notable shift discussed during the panel was the redefinition of ‘employability’ skills.

Historically, employment history played a significant role in hiring decisions. However, in the wake of COVID-19, employers began to prioritise employability skills over work history. Dr Prashan Karunaratne had explained this shift earlier in the symposium in his presentation Employability and Today’s Graduates – Fostering effective Workplaces and Future Leaders, and had defined employability as the ability create and sustain meaningful work throughout one’s entire career journey.

The Role of AI in Bridging Skills Gaps

The panelists unanimously agreed that technology and AI play a crucial role in filling skills gaps.

However, while AI can aid in technical skill development, it cannot replace the importance of soft skills and human interaction.

Businesses should embrace technology to provide flexible engagement for both consumers and staff, meeting the evolving demands of the market.

COVID-19’s Impact on Expectations

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for businesses to adapt to new expectations. For example, they had to acquire tech skills to move services online and engage with customers digitally.

This shift in consumer behaviour and demand for flexibility continues to shape business operations. For example, gym classes moved online, highlighting the need for adaptability in service delivery.

Conclusion

The ICMS Employability Symposium panel discussion provided valuable insights into the future of employability, emphasising the importance of adaptability, innovation, and evolving skillsets.

As the job market continues to change, job seekers and employers alike must remain proactive in responding to these shifts.

By embracing technology, redefining employability skills, and staying attuned to changing expectations, individuals and businesses can thrive in the dynamic world of employment.

For more information on the ICMS First Annual Employability Symposium, click here.

 

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