Most social changes don’t involve people changing. People’s hopes, wants and motivations stay pretty much the same. Instead, what drives change is the way technologies, systems and practices gradually evolve to become easier, quicker, smaller, hipper, more powerful and more useful. Martin Cohen
Today, July 15 is the United Nations World Youth Skills Day – a day to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.
The 2023 theme is “Skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future.”
Does this sound familiar?
For over 15 years Action4Agriculture has been equipping young people with the skills to thrive in the 21st century and we have long been known for developing the four Cs of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. Building on our cornerstone programs of Young Farming Champions, The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas we were thrilled to add two new programs to the stable in 2023 in Young Environmental Champions and Action4Youth to further explore these skills.
The Young Environmental Champions invited students to research the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and choose a global problem from which to derive a local solution for their school and community.
“Over 10 weeks, these young minds dedicated themselves to creating a social impact project that will bring about positive change in their communities and contribute towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Action4Agriculture director Lynne Strong says. “Our young people are reshaping, rewiring and reimaging the future; a future where they will be the leaders.”
Action4Youth is a purpose-driven program to support young people from all backgrounds and experiences to thrive in a career in agriculture by:
- Increased employer engagement in work-based learning pathways.
- Improved learning and skills development experienced by young people.
- Increased entry-level jobs offered to young people.
“It is widely recognised that the education and training systems we have in Australia aren’t fit for purpose and Action4Agriculture we are working with a dedicated group of people to address that. We were committed to ensuring the right people were at the table as part of our Action4Youth program and we were very excited to be able to identify those people from the Illawarra and South Coast of NSW and share that information with others so they can follow in our footsteps and replicate and scale our work and value add to their outcomes,” Lynne says.
All participants in Action4Agriculture programs have access to workshops facilitated by Josh Farr from Campus Consultancy covering 21st century topics including building teams, design thinking, developing stake-holder relationships, communication and agile project management.
“The benefits of participating in an Action4Agriculture initiative is the authenticity of learning and the development of real world skills. It enables young people to engage in real world systems, to understand constraints and structures on real world problems and to engage with experts in the field.
From each stage of the program students are encouraged to extend themselves and develop their skills. This is supported by their belief in their solutions and their passion to make a difference.” Secondary School Principal
According to the United Nations “technological advancements and shifting labour market dynamics increasingly call for agile and adaptable skill sets. It is crucial that we empower young people to navigate these changes effectively. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is well placed to meet these demands by reducing access barriers to the world of work, ensuring that skills gained are relevant, recognized and certified, promoting green skills and practices, and offering skills development opportunities for youth who are not in education, employment and training.
“On World Youth Skills Day, let us unite in recognizing the potential of young people as catalysts for change and commit to providing them with the skills and opportunities they need to build a prosperous and sustainable world for all. Together, we can shape a brighter future where no young person is left behind.”
This is an ethos enshrined in Action4Agriculture and we are proud to promote World Youth Skills Day and our role within the movement.