Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND -

How would you like a ca­reer as a “whole­ness men­tor”, an “ex­cess ca­pac­ity bro­ker” or an “end-of-life coach”?

The jobs of the fu­ture may not ex­ist yet, but TAFEs and uni­ver­si­ties have to start train­ing work­ers in the skills they will need for them right now, an in­no­va­tion ex­pert has warned.

Nils Vesk, an “in­no­va­tion ar­chi­tect” who has worked with com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Mi­crosoft, IBM, Com­mBank and Nes­tle, said the age­ing pop­u­la­tion and rapidly chang­ing tech­nol­ogy were set to open up a host of new op­por­tu­ni­ties, but that cur­rent stu­dents were not be­ing ad­e­quately pre­pared.

“What­ever peo­ple might have learnt at univer­sity or TAFE, the re­search shows your first year of in­for­ma­tion is al­most ir­rel­e­vant by the time you fin­ish your de­gree,” he said, adding that by 2020 more than one-third of the de­sired skill sets for most oc­cu­pa­tions would be com­prised of skills not yet con­sid­ered cru­cial to jobs to­day.

“(The in­sti­tu­tions are) go­ing to have to know what the fu­ture jobs are and what they’re go­ing to have to start think­ing about train­ing for, be­cause at the mo­ment th­ese jobs don’t ex­ist.”

It comes af­ter a re­port by pro­fes­sional ser­vices firm EY ear­lier this month warned that nearly half of ex­ist­ing univer­sity de­grees could be ob­so­lete within a decade, leav­ing grad­u­ates with “more debt and poor job prospects” if Aus­tralia’s univer­sity sys­tem is not dras­ti­cally over­hauled.

In 2016, a re­port from the Com­mit­tee for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment pre­dicted that 40 per cent of Aus­tralian jobs that ex­ist to­day have a “mod­er­ate to high like­li­hood of dis­ap­pear­ing in the next 10 to 15 years”.

Mr Vesk said from 2020 the coun­try would see an ex­plo­sion in jobs in data an­a­lyt­ics and vi­su­al­i­sa­tion, in­stal­la­tion, retrofitting, re­pair and main­te­nance of smart me­ters and re­new­able en­ergy tech­nolo­gies, trans­porta­tion and lo­gis­tics, and industrial de­sign.

He also pre­dicted an in­crease in ed­u­ca­tion and health­care roles, par­tic­u­larly nurses, as well as spe­cialised sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives, database and net­work pro­fes­sion­als, en­gi­neer­ing roles in ma­te­ri­als, bio­chem­i­cals, nan­otech and ro­bot­ics, in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity an­a­lysts and reg­u­la­tory and govern­ment re­la­tions spe­cial­ists.

Mr Vesk said some of the “big so­cio­cul­tural trends” in­cluded a global pop­u­la­tion that was ex­pected to dou­ble in size by 2050, in­creas­ing the need for spe­cialised aged care as life ex­pectancy in­creases, and the rise of “cus­tomi­sa­tion”.

Other trends would in­clude the grow­ing im­por­tance of food se­cu­rity, biose­cu­rity, ro­bot­ics and brain-ma­chine in­ter­faces, as well as the need for a new tier of men­tal health ser­vices.

Here’s some of what we can look for­ward to, ac­cord­ing to Mr Vesk.

MED­I­CAL MEN­TOR: “Imag­ine you’ve just been to a doc­tor. ‘Here’s what they said, here’s your advice, but here’s what you’ve got to do to fol­low up on that.’ It’s al­most like a nurse, but nurses don’t gen­er­ally work in that way.


“It’s about say­ing, ‘OK, you’ve reached 80’, and look­ing at how we’re go­ing to get you through the next 30 years not only phys­i­cally but main­tain your mo­bil­ity, men­tal fac­ul­ties and in­de­pen­dence.” WHOLE­NESS MEN­TOR:

“In the past [life coaches] have been usu­ally more around help­ing you get more money in your job. This is more around, it’s not all about the work.”


“It’s tak­ing a leaf out of the book from the shar­ing econ­omy with Uber and Airbnb, and it’s go­ing to be hap­pen­ing more in the busi­ness world.” –

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