こんにちは?- Konnichiwa? Impacts of the Monolingual Mindset on Employability

Abstract

The Fourth Industrial Revolution presents us with great opportunities and even greater challenges, including the mobile nature of the world’s workforce. 

The connectivity between student mobility and employability allows institutions to better position graduates for this future through language study. The changing workplace in Australia will mean that employers demand enterprise skills from graduates entering the workforce. These are transferable skills, which enable navigation of complex environments. Bilingualism recorded a growth rate of 181% from 2012-2015 as a key enterprise skill in demand by employers (FYA 2016). 

The Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) supports Australian undergraduates in lifting their knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region. The NCP seeks to deepen relations between Australia and the region through providing learning opportunities that support the development of language and cultural acumen, strengthen bilateral relations and increase the number of work ready graduates with regional experience.

Can the model of the NCP influence policy development in other countries and institutions as we seek to develop more employable graduates? The University of Melbourne currently incentivizes language study through its Diploma in Languages. The Diploma also offers a niche way to tailor both short and long term mobility experiences that enhance a student’s employability.