CatalystWest: What are the jobs of the future?

More than 300 thought-leaders from industry, government and the community will discuss western Sydney’s labour market and the jobs of the future – at Western Sydney University’s inaugural CatalystWest(opens in a new window) event on February 28.

CatalystWest – to be held at the University’s Parramatta City campus – is an interactive ideas exchange event that is set to shape the future development of western Sydney.

Dr Andy Marks, the University’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor and creator of the event, said CatalystWest “is about western Sydney taking charge of its own destiny.”

“This region has long been called the home of the battler. It’s been described as a ‘political battleground,’ where government is won or lost,” said Dr Marks.

“Not enough has been made of western Sydney’s unrivaled capacity to make the most of Australia’s challenges and opportunities in the digital age. CatalystWest will change that. We are bringing local solutions to global problems.”

In the lead-up to the event, Western Sydney University experts and key industry sponsors have produced a series of green papers on the pivotal issues that western Sydney will face into the future – as a means of spearheading conversation and debate at CatalystWest.

Professor Kathryn Holmes from the University’s School of Education is one of the authors of the ‘Work’ green paper (PDF, 1156.99 KB)(opens in a new window), which details a series of predictions about the global labour market and how western Sydney will likely be affected by a jobs deficit by the year 2036.

Professor Holmes said discussions at CatalystWest will traverse the disruptive power of digital technologies and the automation of jobs markets – and how higher education providers should be equipping graduates to address future skills gaps.

“At CatalystWest, the region’s brightest minds will be forecasting what jobs in western Sydney will look like in the next three decades, and discussing how we can best prepare graduates for the characteristics of this workforce,” said Professor Holmes.

“In the near future, there’s likely to be a surge in demand for jobs by degree holders from western Sydney. To be equipped for the careers of the future, graduates will need to demonstrate creativity, problem-solving and collaborative skills.

“It’s also likely that one qualification will not sustain an entire, life-long career. When entering the labour market of the future, graduates will need to be aware that continual learning, upskilling and adaptation will be required.”

Members of the community are invited to attend CatalystWest(opens in a new window) – where they will be immersed in expert talks, panels, live performance and networking.

Upon registration, attendees will have access to the CatalystWest interactive app and will be able to access each of the green papers which address the event’s four key themes: health, resilience, transport and work.

Following CatalystWest, discussions and ideas will be incorporated into a series of white papers that will form actionable policy frameworks, projects and implementation plans for the future of western Sydney.

The Gold sponsor for CatalystWest is KPMG. Silver sponsors are Landcom and UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation, The GPT Group, South Western Sydney Local Health District.


8 February 2018

Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer.