Shaping the workforce of the future

Shaping the workforce of the future

Professor Sharon Pickering, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)-Monash Research Academy, Mumbai.

Monash Arts will invest $1 million in additional doctoral scholarships for domestic and international students. The purpose of the investment is to encourage research in areas at the frontier of human and technological development.

Speaking in Mumbai, India, Dean of Faculty of Arts Professor Sharon Pickering made the announcement at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)-Monash Research Academy, an Indian-Australian partnership that enhances research collaborations between the two countries.

In her keynote speech, ‘The Future of the Global Workforce and International Partnerships’, Professor Pickering said that we are in a period of extraordinary change.

“Artificial intelligence and automation (are) set to transform the character of work and human existence. These changes will irreversibly alter our social, economic and political landscapes. Even in the earliest stages of this shift, the changing nature of work and employment, and the different skills that our graduates will need, are evident,” she said.

Professor Pickering explained that the Arts (HASS – Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) had an important role to play in shaping the workforce of the future, and that although it was well recognised that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) “has placed itself at the forefront of the next revolution of our world”, that the Arts were also crucial to this revolution.

“It’s going to be at the intersection of the human and the technological development that our very best, most critical, most innovative thinking will need to occur. It’s also where we stand most to gain,” she said, adding that working with partners, and taking an innovative and interdisciplinary approach all contributed to research excellence.

Professor Sharon Pickering with Beena Pillai, IITB-Monash Research Academy Admissions Manager

The IITB-Monash Research Academy is a unique joint venture between Australia and India. The academy attracts the best talent – students as well as academic and research staff – to work on goal-directed, cross-disciplinary challenges.

Current IITB projects include:

  • Child and Reproductive Health in India;
  • Exploring Gender and Ethnic Dimensions of Malnutrition;
  • Class, Gender, and the Transformation of Public and Community Spaces in Indian Urban Metropolises;
  • Documentation of the Endangered Languages of South Asia;
  • Lives, Livelihoods and Aspirations of the Kolis in Mumbai:
  • Urban Transformation, Space, Habitat;
  • Coastal Contestations and Sustaining Democracies

It is hoped that this multi-disciplinary research will form a rich resource for Australian government agencies and businesses seeking innovative technology solutions.

Professor Pickering also touched upon Monash’s commitment to collaboration and international understanding through Arts initiatives including the new Global Immersion Guarantee, a guaranteed, funded overseas experience for every Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Global Studies student, and the first initiative of its kind in Australia. The Faculty was also building innovative teaching and learning spaces.

Professor Sharon Pickering with Jayasree T S, IITB-Monash Research Academy Candidature Manager

Professor Pickering was joined on-stage by Dr Murali Sastry, CEO IITB- Monash Research Academy;  Associate Professor Sarah McDonald, Associate Dean (Education) Faculty of Arts; Cecilia Hewlett, Director, Monash University Prato Centre and Associate Dean (International), Faculty of Arts; and Mr Peter Coleman, Commissioner, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).

You can watch Professor Pickering's speech here:

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