Recently I launched the No Kidding book in Mt Isa, Queensland. Mt Isa is the most remote place I have travelled to so far to launch the book. It’s 2.5 hours by plane from Brisbane which blows my mind so far as you can fly 2.5 hours in the opposite direction and end up in Vanuatu. In this case, you’re still in the same state! Man Australia is one big country.
Met some lovely people at the event and heard from Gabriel, a Year 11 student from the local Good Shepherd Catholic College about how he has been learning coding, gaming and next term robotics.
The shame of it all is that out of the 500 kids at his school, only 4 (3 in Year 11 and 1 in Year 12) are studying ICT related topics! This is the problem people!!! The majority of their school are studying topics where there is no guaranteed job or future. ICT is different.
There is a massive skills shortage and massive opportunities. For a town like Mt Isa it’s particularly important that they get their heads around this opportunity. The mines could run out in 10 years, 20 years, who knows (of everyone I’ve asked in the town, no one has a clue). They rely on agricultural and tourism but these are volatile industries subject to disruption by environmental and economic impacts. They complain the local market is small without realising they can be selling to the world. They say ‘but the internet connection is slow here’, yet I walked 50m down the road from my hotel in Mt Isa, bought a Telstra 4G hub for $149 (no plan) and got great internet which I promptly went back to my room to use, and ran a webinar broadcasting to people around Australia & NZ.
Mt Isa could be skilling up kids to work from remote Mt Isa, offering services to the world but that is a massive paradigm shift for them to make. They could and they should. But will they?
I’ve done all I can to urge them. Only time will tell now… #nokidding
Article Tags: digital disruption · digital economy · diversification · knowledge economy