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COVID-19 Recovery Scenarios for Young People: Education and Training

Authors: Peter Kelly, Seth Brown & James Goring

The COVID-19 pandemic is triggering profound crises around the world, and the social, economic and political fallout from these crises is likely to be longer and deeper than any recession for several generations. The impact will be significant, and long-term for young people – in terms of their health and well-being, education and training, and employment pathways.

The COVID-19 Recovery Scenarios for Young People in Melbourne’s Inner North project is a partnership between the Inner Northern Youth Employment Taskforce, the Inner Northern LLEN and the UNESCO UNEVOC Centre @ RMIT University. 

Our aim is to identify recovery scenarios for young people in the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Darebin, Moreland and Yarra. So far the project has conducted an online survey, stakeholder interviews, and interviews with young people to help to develop the scenarios.

In this video we present a preliminary account of how young people from these suburbs are talking about these and other concerns about education and training, and some some of their hopes about the future challenges they face.

School, TAFE and University closures and disruption, have amplified problems of equity, engagement and participation in education and training. Closures have ‘sped up’ the reality of online learning, exposed the limits of applied learning on-line and drawn attention to the ‘digital divide’. The crisis has also added to debates about the VCE and the ATAR, and the sort of skills and capabilities that are considered to be of value in Australian education systems. At the same time, the crisis has refocused attention on the social dimensions of schooling and hopes for more inclusive forms of education and training.

In this video stakeholders from schools, local government, businesses and youth service providers and advocacy organisations provide their insights on these challenges that young people are currently dealing with, and will likely deal with. They describe debates and issues such as: engagement, industry stakeholders, technology and innovation, curriculum reform, ‘Year 13’, the Shergold Report, micro-credentials, customised learning, new forms of cooperation, soft-skills, careers education, and mentorship.

As the research proceeds we will explore how these challenges are amplified in a COVID normal world of emerging economic recession and ongoing crises – and ask, what should schooling, education, and training look like in 2025?

Feature Image Credit

By Peter Kelly

I lead the UNESCO UNEVOC Centre in the School of Education at RMIT University.

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