On 29 October 2018, Dassault Systèmes hosted an exclusive luncheon with the Victoria Government to discuss how strategic partnerships between industry, government and academics can re-energise education with industry-based curriculums to prepare the workforce of the future in the mining and resources sector.
The event topic, introduced by Debra Stirling from Monash University, sparked deep discussions between Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Amanda Caples and Sylvain Laurent, Dassault Systèmes’ Executive Vice President, who shared his insights on technological advancements re-inventing the industry, and collaborations required to cultivate future-ready talents and the workforce that will sustain Australia’s mining industry.
The luncheon promises to pave the way towards further discussions between the Victorian Government, educators and businesses for a shared learning eco-system to enable a culture of innovation in the industry.
Here is a summary of the key discussion points raised during the luncheon.
Technological change is having a massive impact on the workforce
In 2016, the World Economic Forum predicted that 65% of children entering primary school today will end up working in a job that doesn’t yet exist. To prepare for this shift, companies must plan for and embrace the workforce of the future.
Mining companies are increasingly embracing technology to improve mine productivity and sustainability practices. But while digitalization with the right technology partner can build business resilience and overall organizational capacity for adapting to rapid change, the key gap is the impact on talent attraction, development and retention. What mining companies need to consider today is the people who will be running the mine in future.
Currently, the industry is undergoing a transition period and contending with a lack of resources on how to adapt the knowledge and know-how of traditional mining with new disciplines in technology. Importantly, what needs to be developed are new approaches to cultivating the workforce of the future.
The Workforce of the Future needs to develop adaptability skills
While the first logical step in cultivating the workforce of the future is encouraging the participation and interest of students in STEM subjects, the new business landscape requires a key critical skill that goes beyond learning and training – adaptability.
Gone are the narrow and linear specialist roles that characterized traditional organisational structures. Underpinning the success of the future mine worker is being able to go beyond his specialization comfort zone and adapt to the continuous innovation that will characterize a digitalised work environment.
Along with the ability to adapt is the ability to change quickly, to work in teams and work well with change, because when technology changes, it changes fast. Given the vast changes happening daily due to technology’s advancement, adaptability skills will be crucial for the workforce of the future.
Importance of fostering industry-education partnerships
Preparing young people for the workforce, particularly in the highly technical aspects of mining, requires more than just cultivating their participation and interest in STEM subjects. The workforce of the future need to have transferable skills, such as communication, ability to collaborate and the entrepreneurial mindset that will make their tech knowledge more valuable.
Educational courses and curriculums also need to adapt and work with change. The best way to ensure curriculum is relevant to the ever-changing technological landscape is to collaborate with the industry and right technology partner. By establishing relationships with industry partners, educational institutes can better prepare students with in-demand skills and provide pathways to rewarding careers.
Introducing digital capacity to a traditional, age-old industry
The mining industry is one of the oldest industries in the world. The challenge is how to introduce the digital capacity to this traditional, age-old industry?
Mining companies need to embrace change to creatively responding to the industry’s challenges. The first step is to acknowledge that change is inevitable and traditional practices have to adapt, and then actively overcome it by learning how other industries are addressing similar challenges.
That is the reason why cultivating the workforce of the future is so important to Dassault Systèmes, as a global technological leader and emissary of best practices from our customers worldwide which deploy the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to transform their business operations and processes. We offer these best practices to Australia and its businesses to help them increase their global competitiveness on the global stage.
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