More than five million jobs, almost 40 per cent of Australian jobs that exist today, have a moderate to high likelihood of disappearing in the next 10 to 15 years due to technological advancements, a CEDA report being released today has found.
Australia and the world is on the cusp of a new but very different industrial revolution and it is important that we are planning now to ensure our economy does not get left behind, CEDA Chief Executive Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin said when releasing CEDA’s major research report for 2015, Australia’s future workforce?
Professor Martin said as part of the report, NICTA researchers have examined the probability of job losses due to computerisation and automation in Australia and in each local government area (including Sydney and Melbourne) across the country.
“This research shows that in some parts of rural and regional Australia in particular there is a high likelihood of job losses being over 60 per cent,” he said.
Professor Martin said there will be new jobs and industries that emerge but if Australia is not planning and investing in the right areas we will get left behind.
“The pace of technological advancement in the last 20 years has been unprecedented and that pace is likely to continue for the next 20 years,” he said.
“While we have seen automation replace some jobs in areas such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing, other areas where we are likely to see change are, for example, the health sector, which to date has remained largely untouched by technological change,” he said.
“Creating a culture of innovation must be driven by the private sector, educational institutions and government. However, government must lead the way with clear and detailed education, innovation and technology policies that are funded adequately.
“Our labour market will be fundamentally reshaped by the scope and breadth of technological change, and if we do not embrace massive economic reform and focus on incentivising innovation, we will simply be left behind in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
“Currently the commitment needed to link education and innovation policy with funding is appalling compared to other countries and Australia’s industry innovation strategy is woefully underfunded compared to global competitors.
Computers will reshape the labour market in two key ways. They will:
1. Directly substitute for labour, with a high probability that as much as 40 per cent of the jobs in Australia could be replaced by computers within a decade or two; and
2. Disrupt the way work is conducted, expanding competition and reducing the costs to consumers but also reducing the income of workers.