Australia’s first female chief scientist said school graduates should focus on continuing their education and approach their working life with an open mind once they leave high school.
University of Western Australia professor Lyn Beazley visited Armadale Senior High School on August 4 to talk to year 11 and 12 students about employment after graduation.
Mrs Beazley was WA’s chief scientist from 2006 to 2013 and was the state’s Australian of the Year for 2015.
“Every face was looking enthusiastically,” she said.
“I strongly feel every young person loves science if you can explain it in the right way, there’s so much potential for science, technology, engineering and maths to be built into their future.
“To talk to them and to share some of the things that are happening in WA that they can relate to can make a difference in their lives.”
Ms Beazley talked to students about automation and the future of industries like mining, agriculture and small business.
She said graduating students enter a world where they will likely have multiple careers and some of those jobs may not have been invented yet.
“The only way is to have an open mind, be prepared to continue to learn, to problem solve and be flexible,” she said.
According to social researcher Mark McCrindle students graduating in 2020 will work longer than previous generations and retirement ages and pensions will be pushed back further than they are today despite the fact the next generation will be the most formally educated generation in history.
Ms Beazley’s advice was for graduates to knuckle down and learn a skill or trade and keep an open mind for the future.
“Further training is absolutely essential,” she said.
“Be it through the TAFE system or university, which are increasingly becoming integrated, get a skill, get a trade, get your certificates and degrees in place whatever you do.
“Complete those because then you’ll be best placed for a job.”