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AI set to impact 95% of Australia’s workforce

Robotic Arm engineer check on equipment in its with software of an Artificial Intelligence Computer

A recent report by the Australian Computer Society has shed light on the profound impact that artificial intelligence (AI) and critical technologies will have on Australia’s workforce, with an estimated 95% of workers expected to be affected. This revelation underscores the urgent need for upskilling and reskilling initiatives to prepare workers for the future of work in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

The report highlights that AI and critical technologies such as automation, robotics, and data analytics will significantly transform job roles across various industries. While these technologies offer opportunities for efficiency gains and innovation, they also present challenges in terms of job displacement and the need for new skill sets. By 2034, it is predicted that:

  • Automation will displace 2.7 million Australian workers (21% of the workforce), and
  • Technology will augment 4.5 million Australian workers (leading to a 15% capacity uplift to Australian businesses)

One of the key findings of the report is the importance of digital literacy and adaptability in the face of technological advancements. Workers who possess skills in AI, machine learning, data analysis, and cybersecurity are likely to be in high demand as organisations seek to leverage these technologies for competitive advantage.

However, the report also emphasises the need for a holistic approach to workforce development, including soft skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. These skills are essential for navigating the complex human-machine interactions that characterise the future workplace.

The impact of AI and critical technologies is expected to be felt across all sectors, particularly hitting:

  • Truck drivers
  • Public administration and safety
  • Bank workers
  • Accountants
  • Metal fabricators and fitters
  • Sales assistants
  • Nurses, and
  • Retail trade.

The largest impacts of automation (above 30%) will be felt in:

  • Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Administrative services
  • Financial services, and
  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing.

To address these challenges, organisations, educational institutions, and government agencies must collaborate to develop robust training programs and lifelong learning opportunities. This includes investing in digital skills training, providing access to online learning platforms, and supporting initiatives that promote innovation and creativity.

For a full reading of the report, see here.

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