If advancements in technology and their impact on business are not already obvious, they should be.
With them comes changes to the types of skills required by prospective and current employees in an increasingly competitive business and jobs market.
A 2016 study by the Foundation for Young Australians analysed millions of job advertisements and revealed a growing demand for enterprise skills, sometimes referred to as 'soft' or 'transferable' skills. A well-developed range of enterprise skills, such as critical thinking, presentation skills, creativity, problem solving, teamwork, communication and financial literacy, allows people to navigate complex and increasingly disrupted industries and professions.
The foundation calls these skills the 'new basics' and they are critical not just for young Australians, but all of us engaged in today's workforce. Those that develop and practice these skills are more innovative and adaptable and help businesses become more agile and increase their strategic competitive advantage.
The jobs of the future will demand 70 per cent more enterprise skills than the jobs of the past, and no industry or sector is left wanting. The growing demand for these transferable skills means employers are willing to pay more for candidates who can demonstrate they have them, in addition to the technical skills acquired as part of formal education or on-the-job training.
The University of Newcastle's Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) has developed a series of 'Connect' events with the aim of developing enterprise skills across the community.
One example is our annual New Futures Hackathon during the Hunter Innovation Festival. This year's event took place on the weekend at New Space and focused developing creative solutions aimed at ensuring communities are less vulnerable when natural or man-made disasters strike.
Forty participants with diverse backgrounds set about working in teams to develop solutions in 10 hours and present their discoveries before a panel of judges. Many of the teams were made up of individuals unknown to each other before the hackathon and included university students, sector experts, curious community members and tech heads.
This kind of event provides a great opportunity for all involved to develop enterprise skills and have a lot of fun along the way.