Share your thoughts
‘Social mobility’ is the ability for an individual to shift from one social class to another.
How do you think technology can support social mobility and youth employment in the Australia/ASEAN region?
AASYP Digital Dialogues wants to hear your voice, so please share your opinions and experiences. Try to keep your response focused on one idea per comment. If you have multiple ideas, post additional responses. Be mindful of readers and how your words could be interpreted differently. Make sure to reread before posting and check for clarity.
We have members from across the ASEAN-Australia region. Read about different ideas, experiences, and be sure to like and follow posts that interest you. Dig deeper and make real connections by asking other members questions about their opinions and experiences. The goal here is to understand each other more and not get into a debate.
Technology, to me, is the great equalizer, that supposedly enables everyone regardless of where they come from and whichever background to tap into the same resources and have access to a wealth of information that can be used to invest in oneself, enrich one's knowledge and hone one's skills. We can afford online courses with certificates, connect with people from all across the globe, come across new information that otherwise we would never have known, to equip ourselves with on-demand and marketable skills that would do us a favor when applying for jobs. Technology will greatly help young people to work more efficiently and optimize their capabilities.
Aside from that, access to technology can help young people from feeling isolated or left behind through accessing forums of like-minded people and fostering connections with people and communities of the same concerns or interests. Young people can also foster or have a support system that may not be present or contributive in real life (take the Study With Me trend, for example). Therefore, it does not only support young people in their professional and academic endeavors but also mentally and personally, two very important aspects to take note of in this day and age if we want to have a healthy and productive workforce.
All of this, however, is provided that everyone has access to technology and the necessary infrastructure or facilities to harness its infinite benefits. Access to technology is mostly restricted to people that are well-off, widening the gap between those with access to technology and those without.
Technology has both the ability to equalise and divide. On one hand, access to the internet has meant a wealth of information is available at the finger tips. This broadens learning opportunities for all. Awareness of opportunities (educational and employment) is greatly enhanced. Young people can use digital social platforms such as LinkedIn and networking webinars to build their connections and identify possible employment prospects.
However, there are still many being left behind. Those living in regional and remote areas without access, or having poor access to the internet are largely excluded as education and work becomes increasingly digitised. Supporting young people suffering this risk to adopt technology is critical.
The proliferation of critical and emerging technologies provides numerous opportunities for youth in driving social mobility, migration, and in advancing human rights and supporting liberal democratic values.
The proliferation of IoT and internet-capable devices opens opportunities for youth to learn and exchange new and innovative ideas - providing them with the knowledge, tools, and funding streams to start and develop their own businesses. Consequently, the economic benefits wrought from both the internet and emerging technologies drives opportunities for socioeconomic stability, with a rising middle class contributing toward more stable and democratic societies.
The increase of available webinars, virtual discussions, as well as online courses also opens a wide opportunity for young people to learn new skills and improve ourselves. These skills help young people to excel in our current profession or even have side jobs to support ourselves, especially in the creative economy and content-creating professions (that are already in high-demand ever since the pandemic).
Working remotely is now the new luxury, as it is proven to have improved productivity of the people since working from home provides more leisure and rest time for workers. Technology is inevitably an important element to support a productive working environment at home - and through technology, young people can easily juggle multiple tasks we're doing throughout the day. This increase in productivity can also bring positive impact for our career.
Many research also mentioned about how people working in technology profession have better career opportunities. However, resolving this issue can't be separated from the fact that not everyone has the ability to enroll in an ICT-related majors in universities nor has the resources to undergo courses. Using technology to leverage youth employment should also consider the fact that not everyone has the same access to the tools needed to support their employment (hardwares, stable internet connections, etc). This is a key issue that I think we should discuss further.
In a nutshell, technology has indeed changed the entire mechanism of life. Simple applications can transcend beyond international borders. With just one click, you are able to watch multiple videos and access hundreds of resources. As a Communication major myself in a middle of a pandemic, technology has enabled me to learn remotely. We produce films, create digital marketing campaigns, and work for our organizations with the help of technology. With that, it opened doors for people of my age and generation as this marks the time for us to embrace our aid in the future which is technology.
Speaking from a point of privilege, I do see internet provide the youth the support they need in building their future. Transitioning from a face-to-face setup to a remote one, a teen may access multiple internships, international conferences like Digital Dialogues, and better opportunities for them with lesser cost than the usual. It then provides proportionality for the privileged and less privilege as this balances out their chances. It's only a question of how they can access it and everything else pushes through.
The internet has really opened up access to information not only from formal sources, but also from other people across the ASEAN-Aus region! It's been great to learn from everyone and their experiences :)
Increased accessibility to the Internet means increased accessibility to information and communication. With that, youths are able to source for relevant information to help further their understanding and knowledge in a variety of aspects. Additionally, I have personally seen various internship/apprenticeship roles shifted from in-person to remote, which allows for youths from all over the world to have the opportunity to enhance their workforce skills with such roles.
With how accessible technology is in this day and age, the Internet has become the great equalizer for less privileged youths. As prestigious international events and competitions moved online, the entry fee was greatly lowered, and the average youth could gain invaluable experience and knowledge with just a smartphone.
This is how underprivileged youths could gain internships, awards that, in the past, was only available to the top 1% who could afford a trip overseas. These experiences would greatly improve their chances of getting a well paid job, getting into a good college, and moving up the social ladder.