Jul 25, 2018

Are you ready for the new digital age? What skills will our workforce of the future need? With projections that 375 million jobs (14% of the global workforce) will be automated by 2030, our industries need to join forces to tackle these questions. Australian Industry Standards (AIS) is bringing together leaders from key industries to explore current and future skills challenges caused by the changing world of work.

A series of Industry Skills Forums around the country will be hosted by prominent journalist and author Kerry O'Brien. The Forums will feature panel discussions about future skilling in an age of digital transformation and new thinking about jobs and careers.

The growth of technology since 1990 has been rapid and accelerating. The work profile of nearly every job has been affected, with some jobs being fully automated, others partly or considerably altered in their performance.

In the logistics sector, the expansion of goods-to-person automation has improved the effectiveness and efficiency of e-commerce. Drone technology for parcel delivery is developing. Ports are being automated. Autonomous vehicles in the transport sector are being used in mining areas, calculating routes and avoiding obstacles. Autonomous trains are also being used in the rail sector. In the electricity supply sector businesses are operating in an increasingly automated environment with the use of big data for decision making and efficiency gains. New technologies shaping the maritime sector include robots, sensors and big data; propulsion and powering; smart ships and autonomous systems; and deep ocean mining and marine biotechnologies.

While digital transformation brings many benefits across the economy, such significant change can lead to skills shortages and impact business performance. Productivity and competitiveness is reduced and ultimately Australia’s economic performance is hindered. A commitment to investment in rigorous and sustainable future- skilling activity by industry and educators can mitigate the challenges facing enterprises across all sectors.

AIS is a Service Skills Organisation that supports Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) in developing qualifications and skills standards for the aviation, transport and logistics, maritime, energy, water and utilities, public safety, police, Defence and corrections industries. Collectively these industries cover more than 1.3 million workers or almost 10% of the Australian workforce. More significantly, these workers add $174 billion to the Australian economy – or 11% of GDP.

The forums will give stakeholders the opportunity to help shape the skills and workforce priorities for their industry. Throughout the discussions there will be a strong focus on people.

Following the panel discussions, there will be a series of industry-specific break-out sessions to discuss and debate the challenges and possible solutions to skills shortages. Attendees will discuss barriers to recruiting skilled employees and will also explore emerging skill needs.

Information and insights from the forums will feed directly into the 2019 Skills Forecasts – the key pieces of industry-centred advice for Government about the skills needs of industry.

The CEO of AIS, Robert Adams, says ”future-skilling our people will be critical for industry and educators as the global environment evolves and emerging technologies impact job requirements. While new opportunities are driving the economy, there are challenges to ensure business can access a sustainable, flexible workforce with high-quality skills.

The forums will provide a real opportunity for our stakeholders to examine the issues and inform thinking and policy to ensure the workforce of the future is ready for the challenges ahead.”

AIS Industry Skills Forums will be held in each capital city around the country from September to November, kicking off in Canberra on 11 September.

For more information and to register your interest for these free events go to www.futureskilling.org.au. You can follow the conversation online by using #futureskilling