Education, skills the pillars
URBAN infill, digital literacy in the workforce and the importance of a vibrant education system were themes of a panel discussion about Tasmania’s immediate future. Speaking at yesterday’s
Mercury Future Tasmania event yesterday, Blue Edge Property managing director John Huizing said exploring inner-city options for more housing in Hobart would be crucial in coming years.
“When you look at units at the moment, most of those around the waterfront are already taken care of, so we can’t expand any more there,” he said. “We’re going to be looking at maybe the CBD and places like North Hobart.
“Within the CBD, we’re going to have to look at older buildings there which might need refurbishing to become units.
TasTAFE chief executive Jenny Dodd said the importance of workers adapting to new technology in industry was a central pillar in the changing nature of work.
“We call it digital literacy, but I call it digital adaptability,’’ she said.
“The ability to be confident in the digital space, which comes from also embedding that in our learning to be able to go forward.”
University of Tasmania Professor Richard Eccleston — who specialises in the field of political science — said successful regions were ones that possessed strong education systems.
“In a knowledge economy, education and skills is really important,’’ he said.
“We’re not just talking about university education, but as a state we need to make sure all Tasmanians irrespective of their background and age have got the opportunity to learn, build knowledge and develop skills.”
Prof Eccleston said there were many reasons to be optimistic about the state’s position, “but we also can’t be complacent”.
“Part of that optimism is about the recent economic and population growth and that’s important, but it’s probably a cause of broader structural factors that we need to exploit and consolidate,’’ he said.
TALK: Mercury associate editor Amanda Ducker with Professor Richard Eccleston, left, TasTAFE chief Jenny Dodd, Blue Edge Property’s John Huizing and Bernard Salt.