Future of Work – Future Skills by the Australian Industry Skills Committee

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) commissioned the Future Skills and Training Resource to gather and analyse data on Australian and international megatrends, their potential impact on Australia’s future workforce and the implications for vocational education and training.  It complements existing data sources and Industry Reference Committee (IRC) intelligence.

It is a practical resource intended to assist IRCs in developing their future Industry Skills Forecasts and Proposed Schedules of Work. It is designed to start conversations within IRCs about how emerging trends may affect their industry, how their industry currently responds to change, and the implications for skills and training. In some cases, IRCs are already working to respond to identifed trends. These trends are not only in the future but are impacting now across multiple industries.

Skills for collaborating

Rather than focusing on individual performance, organisations are more than ever trying to develop a culture where the most valuable employees are those who can collaborate and share information to improve ef ciency and achieve organisational goals.

Foundational skills

Strong foundational skills, such as literacy and numeracy skills, including digital and financial literacy, are extremely important for most jobs in the knowledge economy. Strong foundation skills are essential to develop or train within any new, more specialised skill areas.

Skills for learning and adapting

In a world where vocational and technical skills will constantly need to adapt
to new technologies and job requirements, people need to be taught skills that enhance their ability to adapt to new situations and acquire new skills.

At the same time, as the world of work becomes more exible, employees are expected to take more responsibility for their skills development.

The trends of rapid change in markets and technologies, and of multiple generations in the workforce at the same time, trigger the need for collaboration.

As organisations become increasingly dynamic and horizontally structured, this need for collaboration impacts all types of roles. For example, IT employees must now engage with
a set of cross-functional colleagues, business partners, vendors and customers.

Entrepreneurship skills

There is a widespread view that teaching entrepreneurship skills are indispensable for professional development in the 21st century.

In part, this is about being able to identify problems, create solutions, and take action to implement these solutions, even if you are an employee, not the boss. This is also about preparing people to be self-reliant and resourceful in an economy with increasing participation by small businesses and self- employed contractors.

Analytical skills

Data is becoming increasingly available and growing exponentially, with big data derived from online activity, sensors, the internet of things, new analytical tools, and arti cial intelligence.

As data becomes more accessible, workers in almost all industries, and across most roles, will be expected to use available data to derive value from it — creating evidence- based solutions, and improving products and services. For some roles, this will require being able to analyse and present raw data, while for others, it will require the ability to interpret data analysis and apply findings.

Skills for adding value

Australia continues to move away from being a commodity industry, towards being a knowledge-based economy. With the ongoing challenge of increasing international competition, resource- related pressures, and empowered and demanding consumers, industry will need to source workers with skills to create valuable products and services using fewer resources. They will struggle where new technologies and increased connectivity is unavailable or inaccessible.

Non-automatable skills

The number of people hired in service occupations that involve directly caring for people (e.g. nursing and aged care, hairdressing, and tness and rehabilitation professionals) may not increase in volume, despite a growing demand for their services.
As delivery costs are pushed down by the market, there is an expectation that technology will automate aspects of job tasks in order to make services more widely available at a lower price. For example, a residential care nurse may be required to tend to the care needs of an increased number of clients, as their non-care tasks will be managed by lower skilled employees, and/ or technology. This could result in professionals working under potentially more challenging and stressful contexts.

This trend of focusing on tasks that are more personally related to the clients will also apply to other service occupations that previously did not have a people focus.
For example, as many of the tasks performed by accountants or real estate agents are automated, people in these occupations will be required to focus on personalised customer service, and negotiating with and persuading potential clients.

Social platform skills

Future communication tools will require members of the workforce to be skilled in new media literacies, not just text. Social technologies drive new forms of production and value creation — this will vary from collaboration, to using them to play, experiment and invent.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Future Skills and Training Resource | Australian Industry Skills Committee

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