Release type: Transcript


Report reimagines Australia’s working future


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment
Minister for Women
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Western Australia

A ground-breaking report launched by the Australian Government today paints a future where Australians will work side by side with machines in jobs that today exist only on the margins or in our imagination.

The CSIRO report Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce: Megatrends and scenarios for jobs and employment in Australia over the next twenty years was commissioned by the Australian Government in partnership with the Australian Computer Society, Boston Consulting Group and ANZ to help plan for our future workforce.

Launching the report at the Australian Computer Society’s conference today, Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash commended the authors on their depth of vision in mapping out the changing landscape of our workforce as we move through huge technological shifts.

“The report explores the profound implications for businesses, communities and governments as our economy and workforce change in line with technological advances,” Minister Cash said.

“Jobs of the future are likely to be more flexible and connected. They are also likely to be more satisfying. People who are adaptable, resilient and agile will thrive. 

“Some jobs will inevitably become automated over the coming years but technological change will improve others and also create new jobs and opportunities.

“The future won’t be about people competing with machines, it will be about people using machines and doing work that is more interesting and fulfilling.

“We need to acknowledge the changing nature of work and allow for flexibility.

“We also need to invest strategically in skills and training and encourage people to apply the skills they already have to different types of work.

“More than ever, education and training are important for succeeding in the labour market. By 2019, the number of jobs available for highly-skilled labour is projected to be more than double the number available in 1991.

“How Australia’s workforce fares in the long term will depend on our ability to help workers make transitions to new and better jobs. Our biggest challenge will be to ensure no one is left behind.”

Future jobs explored in the report include:

  • specialised big data analysts,

  • complex decision support analysts,

  • remote controlled vehicle operators,

  • customer experience experts,

  • personalised preventative health helpers,

  • online security chaperones.

The report also identifies six megatrends for Australia’s workforce over the coming 20 years as a consequence of a combination of forces – technology advances, digital connectivity, globalisation, the ageing population and the rise of new economic structures:

  • Rapid advances in automated systems and artificial intelligence means that robotic devices can perform many tasks more quickly, safely and efficiently than humans.

  • Digital technology and the new world of ‘platform economics’ is changing employment markets and organisational structures.

  • People will become more entrepreneurial and create their own jobs.

  • Australia’s population is ageing with growing life expectancies.

  • Increased use of automated systems is raising the complexity of tasks and requiring higher skill levels for entry-level positions.

  • Employment growth in the service industries, in particular education and healthcare, has driven jobs creation in recent times.

To read the complete ‘Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce’ report, please visit: