Parents, teens worried about the job market of the future
Robotics, automation, global competition — with forces like that in play, better than three in four parents and teens in a new Junior Achievement survey said they are concerned about future jobs.
Christy Tighe of Junior Achievement New Jersey said the group is working with schools and business to teach kids future work-readiness skills.
"What the survey discovered is that 77 percent of both parents and teens are concerned that global competition and automation are really going to make it difficult for today's young people to have successful careers tomorrow," she said.
Tighe is director of college and career readiness for the group.
Tighe said there has been a lot of research around how competition and automation will result in the loss of entry level and low-skill jobs.
"Right now, we see retailers going to self-service registers, restaurants being able to use self-service tablets. And there is talk about companies like Uber — eventually drivers with self-driving vehicles," she said. "So there is definitely concern among our young people and their parents that their kids are going to have a successful future based on the automation of everything."
She said Junior Achievement is helping kids to understand that "even if everything is automated, we are still going to need young people to be able to be problem-solvers."
She said the group not only help kids with future skills, but also, "work-readiness, along with financial literacy and entrepreneurship are really the focus for JA."
Tighe said some type of post-secondary education will be crucial for keeping pace in the future workforce.
"Before, you could graduate with a GED or high school diploma and get a job," she said. "And the reality is that you really cannot do that anymore."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.