February 20, 2018 / News
Technology is dramatically changing the face of Australia's workforce. The increased automation of many repetitive, dangerous, and low-skilled positions, have left a significant amount of Australians feeling concerned about this diminished job security. The most vulnerable to these changes are those in blue-collar work, workers without formal tertiary education, and those employed in 'dying' industries.
According to Robert Hillard, managing partner at Deloitte Consulting, there will be three categories of future work - people who 'work for machines', people who 'work with machines', and people who 'work on the machines'. Those who work for machines are expected to experience the most disruption, as their roles are likely to be absorbed by their robot counterparts.
Even though it may seem as though technology will spell the end for the human worker, it's not all doom and gloom. Technology will also create jobs and provide the key for the re-deployment of these vulnerable workers into more stable, in-demand positions.
With millions of Australian jobs hanging in the balance, there has been a push for the re-education and re-training of these workers. As technology changes the kinds of skill sets that are required, it is becoming increasingly vital for workers to possess a more well-rounded skill set that is current and applicable to the job market in the technological age. Since technology is constantly evolving and adapting, there will be a shift towards more dynamic and constant education and skills development, rather than a one-off degree or certification to serve for the duration of a person's working life. A 'portfolio' of skills that combines both formal and informal skill will be the new norm expected of future job seekers.
Recognising that the ubiquity of technology is only going to become more pronounced across all fields, government bodies and companies are funding and partnering with initiatives aimed at helping workers build and develop more relevant skills. Upskilling will be integral in empowering workers to keep up with the ever-evolving nature of technology, automation, and artificial intelligence.
One prominent initiative dedicated to improving the skill sets of workers, especially those with technologically-sensitive roles, is Upskilled.
Upskilled is a registered training organisation (RTO) that is dedicated to partnering with workers to assist them with 'lifelong learning'. Upskilled provides workers with training and education opportunities to further their knowledge and develop skills that won't be as adversely affected by technology. Upskilled has a range of certificate and diploma programs in a range of categories, including information technology, management, human resources, accounting and finance, education, etc.
For those with roles that will be the most affected by technology, Upskilled is a great way to gain knowledge, skills and certification in areas that are not as sensitive to the effects of automation. This is a good way to safeguard your career prospects and side-step into a career that won't be as affected by the fluctuating labour market, due to the infiltration and widespread adoption of technology. Upskilled helps to increase job accessibility.
It is now becoming commonplace for companies to have their own internal upskilling program. These programs are aimed at providing current employees with the opportunity for ongoing education and training, to help them build new skills and further develop existing ones. This allows workers to move into better positions within the organisation and safeguard them from roles that are likely to be replaced by machinery. The changing labour market now requires workers to possess a more well-rounded skill set that isn't easy to automate. For example, analytical and interpersonal skills are being increasingly sought after by businesses, as human workers are still irreplaceable in these realms.
Internal upskilling programs are also beneficial to the company, as it allows the business to stay competitive, reduce hiring costs and encourage greater retention of talented personnel.
In a world increasingly run by technology, many jobs are falling victim to automation and artificial intelligence. Continual education, training and upskilling will be an important factor in preventing workers from being replaced by a robot.
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