Futurists believe that due to exponential technological change that is sweeping the world, young people today will experience a very different labour market in the future than their parents or grandparents did.
With this in mind there is much debate (and worry) about whether or not the current school system and curriculum will meet the future work skills needs in a labour market which is significantly reliant on technology systems to function efficiently and well.
On the plus side the theory is that technology is revolutionising efficiencies such that as time moves on work will be less stressful, more creative and more engaging. Time will tell if this is true – however in the meantime research has shown that regardless of what technical skills a young person today equips themselves with at school, polytech or university – the critical skills are those which are not necessarily taught and assessed. Rather, they are acquired through experience. These skills or competencies are Creativity, Communication, Curiosity and Critical Thinking. The theory goes that if a young person is equipped with these skills then they will be able to find meaningful work in the rapidly changing technological age.
In response to this, the YMCA, in partnership with the Todd Foundation and Aurecon, are creating a technology centre specifically designed for young people who otherwise do not get opportunity to engage with learning around computer programming/coding, 3D printing, prototyping, robotics, virtual and augmented reality and more.
The 4C centre will be based at our central city site at 12 Hereford Street and will be open before Christmas 2018. Young people currently studying at the YMCA have been closely involved with the design of the Centre and will also create the ‘rules’ of conduct so that the 4C centre is youth led and focused on meeting the needs of young people of Canterbury who lack access to technology-rich equipment, mentors and opportunity. The dream is that this will enable these young people to equip themselves better for the workforce and expose them to new possibilities for their futures.