Skills & Futures Zone @ Rand Show: Informing future leaders
With over 70% of the Rand Show’s audience made up of families with children, the Skills & Futures Zone is perfectly aligned to deliver on its mandate; “To provide high school learners with an information-rich platform to help them make informed decisions on further educational and vocational opportunities, for a sustainable future,” explains Craig Newman, CEO of Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) and official spokesperson for the Rand Show.
Sharing insights with high school learners who are exploring future career guidance, most importantly the skills they should be working on to ensure they’ll have a job tomorrow, exhibitors will include a broad swathe of tertiary educational institutions, including: Universities, Colleges, FET Colleges, SETAs and Educational Departments.
The launch of the Skills and Futures Zone comes at an opportune time when our school leaving learners are facing the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the age of technological disruption. Many traditional career paths are becoming obsolete and there is no clear path for families to follow when choosing an educational or vocational course for their children. Research by the World Economic Forum estimates that 65% of children entering primary school will find themselves in occupations that today do not exist. By 2020 it’s also estimated that there will be 1.5 million new digitised jobs across the globe, however 75% of educators and students feel there’s an undeniable gap in their ability to meet the skills needs of the IT workforce.
“Office and administrative functions, along with manufacturing and production roles, will see dramatic declines accounting for over six million roles over the next four years. Conversely, business and financial operations along with computer and mathematical functions will see steep rises,” further reads a report from weforum.org.
To help mitigate the demand for new talent and bridge the skills gap, the Rand Show has partnered with a number of career and technical educational institutions together with its exhibitors to provide scholars currently in Grades 10-12 with an indication of the vast array of skills required by a vast majorities of South African companies and organisations. Through a range of workshops experts from various sectors will assist them in answering the question of what they should study to remain relevant in a world influenced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“It’s no secret that the new digital era is fundamentally changing the workforce and to a larger extend driving the thirst for new skills to an even a greater intensity. Therefore career education providers and businesses alike need to do their part to ensure that today’s young talent and those about to enter the workforce are fully equipped with necessary skills to adapt to the new workforce skill requirements,” says Newman.
Ushering in this evolution are exciting transformational technologies – Internet of Things (IOT), the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics (instead of humans) – along with fancy new titles which progressive companies are slowly beginning to embrace. “It is for this reason that the Skills & Futures Zone was conceptualised; to help and empower the youth visiting the Rand Show with the skills they need for the jobs oftomorrow and ensure that their career resumes are being aligned with the evolving needs. In addition, through this much need program, we hope to play our part in helping today’s employers prepare their workforce for the new age of technological-industrial revolution,” says Newman.
The message here is loud clear; Adapt and survive. “Today’s digital environment is no doubt creating challenges for ill-equipped individuals, but at the same time it is presenting great opportunities for the majority to further their careers and secure challenging and rewarding future jobs.”
Speaking on the strength of Rand Show as a marketing platform, Dave Nemeth of Trend Forward, the brains behind the event’s strategic marketing insights had this to say: “The turbulence of recent protest action in the education sector has affected how people view these institutions. With the Rand Show and the new Skills & Futures Zone, we’re giving these institutions the opportunity to showcase their worth, attract new students, and inspire future generations to educate themselves and help deliver a more prosperous future for our country.”
The organisers of Rand Show 2018 believe that one of the greatest challenges facing emerging market economies, such as South Africa, is how to capitalise on the strengths of the growing younger population to create meaningful jobs that will add value and drive economic growth and development. Even in fast-growing emerging market economies, employers are reporting a gap between the talent they need in their businesses and the current skill sets available in the market. With this in mind, the Skills and Futures Zone is a game-changing addition to the Rand Show that will literally help learners match their career ambitions with suitable educational opportunities.
To demonstrate this, Rand Show exhibitors can take advantage of two different options for participation with the Skills and Future Zone.
The first option provides Educational Institutions with the option to exhibit at the Showcase SA Expo, within the dedicated Skills and Future Zone for the full 10-day duration of Rand Show 2018.
The second option provides all Rand Show exhibitors with the option to participate within the dedicated Skills & Futures Zone on Tuesday 3 April, Wednesday 4 April and Thursday 5 April, where they will have the opportunity to provide further details about the skills their organisations need, providing learners with a clear understanding of what skills, educational and learning opportunities they need to pursue, to secure future employment opportunities at these organisations.
About the Rand Show
About The Rand Show – Since its establishment in 1894, the Rand Show has become one of South Africa’s largest and most iconic consumer events and a highlight on the annual events calendar, having entertained multiple generations of South African families. Staged annually at the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec, it serves as an important launch pad for exciting brands and businesses and caters to the entire family. Categories include sport, children’s products and services, wellness, outdoor living, science, technology, government departments, trends, design and home living, as well as world-class exhibits by the SANDF, a unique feature not seen anywhere else. The expo attracts over 200 000 visitors each year, mostly families across all cultures in the middle to upper income brackets. Often referred to as Johannesburg’s biggest day out, 2018 promises to prove yet again why Rand Show has been in existence for over 120 years. This is not just another expo.