WEST Australian students are being taught skills for jobs that might not have even been created yet.
Yangebup Primary School recently took part in a ScopeIT Education program where students, teachers and even parents learnt about coding and 3D printing.
Principal Richard Barr said the requirements expected of a future workforce highlighted the importance of giving children an education in digital technologies.
He said there was a shift away from teaching students how to use a computer to teaching children how they work and how to instruct their function through coding.
“Young people need to learn the skills and be trained for jobs that possibly do not even exist yet,” he said.
“The Federal Government, business and industry leaders all consider digital proficiency as a vital foundational skill upon which the jobs of the future will depend.”
Australian Information Industry Association WA chair Julian Coyne said it made sense to have a digital-literate workforce that can consume and create technology because future jobs would call on these skills.
“We need to rapidly develop our capability in these areas so we are not left behind regionally and globally,” he said.
“We need to find ways of working smarter and being more efficient with what we have, and building on what we have to ensure we develop globally competitive export capability in these value-added areas.”
A Department of Education spokeswoman said schools had an important role producing confident and adaptive users of technology.
“Two new subjects will be introduced into the Western Australian Curriculum from the start of next year – digital technologies and design and technologies – which schools will formally include in teaching and learning programs,” she said.
“In saying that, schools are already teaching students about computers and technology in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
“Computer programming is one of the skills taught to students from an early age.
“It begins with students learning pre-coding which is position and movement language such as left and right, and moves on to students generating algorithms in the later years.”