"Time to stop talking…


As EY’s Stop Talking About the Future of Work (2019) report comments,

“while we are drowning in a sea of noise about the “future of work", real solutions… are thin on the ground”


We are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a period where the combined forces of automation, globalisation and flexibility are having profound changes on the way we work, the skills that are valuable, and our pathways as lifelong learners, constantly adapting to change, unlearning and relearning skills.

Australian and NZ employers are forecasting significant reshaping of their workforce over the next three years:


of jobs will be redundant


say technology will change the nature of roles, triggering task redundancy


of the roles available will be new jobs

To succeed in this new world of work, our young people will need a new 21st century skillset that has been widely and globally identified, alongside specific technical skills which will continue to change rapidly.


How do we best build those 21C skills in our students and help them build pathways into the new world of work?

By engaging them in learning that is real and relevant, that breaks down boundaries between school and work, that focuses on skills not knowledge, and that is project-based.


Right now though, too few of New Zealand’s schools are sufficiently focused on 21st century learning, and too few of our teachers have the experience and capability to teach in this way.


The great majority of the 70,000 teachers in state and integrated schools, have never worked in anything other than a school, yet are expected to understand the 21C skills required by their students in rapidly changing workplaces.


are over 50 years old


are over 60 years old


Whilst 46% of NZ businesses have trouble finding skilled labour and only 4% of NZ businesses are satisfied / very satisfied with the work readiness of school leavers, very few are partnering with schools and teachers in a way that builds real-world learning experiences and shows accessible pathways to work.


of businesses have no contact with the education sector


have links to secondary schools


21C Skills Lab sees a significant opportunity for a national, rapidly-scaling programme which brings together innovative businesses and champion teachers to build teacher capability to create powerful real-world learning experiences for students, growing 21st century skills and helping them to explore pathways to their futures.