Govt urged to develop action plan for jobs of the future

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Govt urged to develop action plan for jobs of the future

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is calling on the government to urgently develop a strategy and action plan ensuring Australians are prepared for the jobs of the future.

The industry body has released a new position paper (large PDF) urging ICT and digital leaders to work with governments and communities to develop practical strategies to build digital literacy and prevent social and economic dislocation.

The paper identifies the impacts that emerging technologies including AI, robotics and machine learning are having on 10 industry sectors key to the Australian economy.

It also seeks to identify the new types of jobs and roles that will emerge based on these technologies and the skills that will be required for jobs of the future.

According to the paper, workers will need a minimum level of digital skills to find employment in the future regardless of industry. Australia, meanwhile, also needs a strong workforce skilled in STEM disciplines that can create new technologies instead of simply use them.

“While history shows technology will add productivity and economic growth, our position paper is the start of what needs to be a broader conversation about developing an action plan to ensure Australians are adequately prepared for the jobs of the future and people are not left behind,” AIIA CEO Rob Fitzpatrick said.

“Australians need a new narrative that demonstrates a future in which technology will improve the way we work and open up new opportunities and jobs. Alarmist views that mass unemployment is around the corner are neither helpful nor very realistic. But we do need a clear strategy to prepare us for the future and address issues such as what skills will be required, how we can develop them and how we support those workers who will be displaced.”

He said the AIIA plans over the next 12 months to work with a range of stakeholders, government and industry sectors to examine the issues raised in the position paper in detail.

Recent AIIA research found that while 97% of Australians are generally positive about future job opportunities, only one in four attribute this attitude to the belief that government will develop the right policies in areas such as education and training.

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