Working in the coalmine. About to slip down

CSIRO report: Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce

This 112 page (plus research appendices) report examines plausible futures for jobs and employment markets in Australia over the coming twenty years.

Whilst Australia’s workforce is continually changing the current period in history is characterised by a combination of forces likely to be associated with greater, faster and different transitions than previously experienced.

The report merits a full read and commentary but for now, the accompanying video is helpful in assimilating some the high level perspectives of the report:

‘… We’re entering into a period of rapid technology fuelled disruption of labour markets. A lot of jobs are going to be extinguished by technology but a lot of new jobs are going to get created. There is opportunity and risk here. And all of the jobs we do are going to be reshaped by technology as well.‘ Dr. Stefan Hajkowicz, Research Scientist Data61

… People worry that our jobs are all going to be replaced by machines. But I see the future as one where people get to do exciting fulfilling creative work, while machines do the jobs they they’re best able to do. I think the main thing is to make sure that people aren’t left behind, so we need to make sure that we are equipping people with the skills that they need for new jobs…‘ Renee Leon, Secretary of the Department of Employment

Ensuring we have enough digitally literate workers in the future is a key challenge. It’s not just technical skills however we also need to focus on professional skills, in entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. How to bring technology products to market. And we need to focus on developing our local IT ecosystem…‘ Andrew Johnson, CEO, Australian Computer Society

Over the next twenty years, the job market in Australia is going to become much more dynamic, with a much higher rate of job destruction and job creation required. In fact, our view is that the rate of job destruction is going to be as high as it was during the GFC, but for a much longer and sustained period within Australia.’ Brad Noakes, Partner, Boston Consulting Group

If you look at the challenges and opportunities of the digitally enable world, it certainly needs collaboration. And really collaborate in solving these fundamental challenges we have identified in the study. I think it’s a foundational piece, it doesn’t give answers to all the challenges. It’s a framework to take this subject further, and really start thinking about what are the implications from a policy making perspective.

Not only policy making on government, but also policy making in terms of what has to be done at university level but also industry level and how can we really take this forward and help Australia evolve into a knowledge based economy.‘ Patrick Maes, CTO, ANZ Bank