We hear so much about the changing face of the workforce and the uncertainty of the future for young Australians. We hear more than enough about the educational shortfalls that leave our students ill prepared for the world that awaits when they leave school.

Much of this is doom and gloom spouted by those with an agenda to push; but with some of it there may be a shadow of truth. Employers and industry groups have been heard to despair at the lack of thinking or motivational skills of many of the young people who step through their door. This may be unfair. Hasn’t every generation said the same of the one before? How can we possibly expect to put an old head on young shoulders?

This is a discussion deserving of more space and depth than can be given in this forum, and schools so often bear the brunt of blame in any shortcomings. But we all play a part. Like you, we are invested in helping students to recognise and develop the skills to prepare for their best lives.

If anything is going to benefit young Australians entering the workforce, it’s the transferable, communication and interpersonal skills they develop at home as they negotiate their relationships and responsibilities; at school as they make conscientious decisions about their future, and in the community where they gain an understanding of the larger life picture. They benefit from the encouragement and support they receive as they explore their capabilities, learn from their mistakes and grasp confidence in how they fit in the world.

No matter the nature of our abilities, with nurturing and common-sense application we are all capable in some way. We all have something to give. Finding what that is, is not a passive process, but one that takes perseverance, energy and curiosity. There are excellent programs being run by schools throughout Australia, where students can explore a project of choice. The chance to share their passion, ideas, findings or creation with others gives them licence to exhibit their worth. It allows them to shine.

It’s this kind of project that takes students on a meaningful journey that translates into the capabilities and confidence needed not only in the future workforce, but in life. Perhaps your school offers this type of program or maybe you would like to explore the possibilities for your own students.

It’s not all doom and gloom – it’s pretty exciting really.

If you are looking for student resources for any type of personal project, go to our bookshop and take a look at I-Xplore Research Project Journal

I-Xplore Research Project Journal is designed specifically to assist students with project ideas, planning strategies, advice on research methods, critical analysis, referencing, collating materials, presentation and more.

Click on this link to learn more about the I-Xplore Research Project Journal: