The Federal Government is taking its IT skills push to the region through a partnership with software company, Atlassian, and US university Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MiT).
The three organisations have joined forces as part of MiT’s Solve initiative designed to help young people from the Indo-Pacific region prepare for the workforce of the future.
For its part, the Federal Government will contribute $1.4 million to the Youth & the Workforce of the Future program, which will crowd-source expertise and ideas from around the globe to help prepare communities and governments for the future of work, while Atlassian will match the government’s contribution.
The most promising ideas to come out of the program will be awarded pilot funding, with the potential to be scaled up for regional application.
“Technology is transforming jobs globally. Young people face a world in which almost half the jobs available today may disappear in the coming decades,” Australian minister for foreign affairs, Julie Bishop, said.
"By some forecasts, 65 per cent of today's school children will work in industries and sectors yet to be developed.
“This partnership will help apply the science, engineering, technology and innovation capabilities of MIT and Atlassian to the challenges faced by young people in the Indo-Pacific region as a result of technological change."
The investment is part of the Federal Government’s innovationXchange which was established in March 2015 within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to form new partnerships and identify innovative approaches to improve the effectiveness and impact of the Australian aid program, and public policy more generally.
Other initiatives from the program include support for the Water Abundance XPRIZE, a competition for solutions to alleviate the global water crisis with energy efficient technologies that harvest fresh water from thin air.
According to the organisation’s website, The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to guarantee disadvantaged young people under 24 from low socio-economic backgrounds are equipped with 21st century skills and prepared for the workforce of the future.
Specifically, it aims to do this by suggesting innovative learning technologies to help increase skills development for disadvantaged youth around the world while presenting new educational models and concepts to improve quality of learning for young people in the 21st century.
In addition, it is proposing tools and strategies to teach skills that will drive entrepreneurship, critical thinking, and adaptability, alongside identifying innovative solutions to ensure equal access and inclusion of all genders and people with disabilities to quality education and skills development.