More than 1850 students from all over NSW and even southern Queensland packed into to the TRECC on Thursday to learn all about the Future of Work.
A star studded line up of guest speakers was headlined by Google’s ‘Education Evangelist’ Jaime Casap, direct from the USA, and also included the UNE’s Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Jonathan Powles, while the ABC’s James O’Loghlin chaired.
UNE Director of Marketing Anthony Smith said that over 40 schools were represented at the one-off event, which hoped to address an issue facing the entire globe.
“We have been doing a lot of research over the years, and have also heard a lot of concern – the general community, not just students, are asking what the future of work is,” he said.
“They are concerned about the wave of technology that is arriving now and how they can secure their jobs into the future.
“Part of what a university is, and should be doing is helping people understand and adapt to the future that is arriving – it is certainly core to our mission at the UNE.”
While Mr Casap captivated the audience with his journey of an embattled childhood in Hell’s Kitchen in New York to being at the forefront of educational technological advancement, the UNE and TAFE also set up a range of stalls staffed with professionals from different departments for the students to speak with.
Prof Powles spoke to the students about how recent leaps in technology are shaping education.
“One of the things that is really interesting is that in this uncertain future coming towards us, some of those human qualities such as the ability to communicate, work in a team, use creativity, imagination and innovation to solve difficult problems will be key,” he said.
“These are the traditional provinces of our humanities and arts degrees, and I think we are going to see a real resurgence in the popularity of the good old arts degree.”