Tomorrow's Digitally Enabled Workforce: Elements of Change

Tomorrow's Digitally Enabled Workforce: Elements of Change

Australia's labour market has always gone through a change. However, over the next 20 years, things are likely to shift more quickly and more significantly than ever before. In this four-part series, we examine both current trends and future projections, giving you a picture of what to expect by around 2035. 

This summary is based on "Tomorrow's Digitally Enabled Workforce", a report published in January 2016 with support from the Australian Government Department of Employment, the CSIRO, ANZ, ACS, BCG Digital Adventures and Digital 61. 

Elements of change

The first step is to outline the factors likely to bring on change. These include technological, social, economic, environmental and geopolitical elements, which act both alone and in conjunction with one another. 

1. The robots are coming 

Firstly, there's the obvious one: technology. This includes improving computing capabilities, increasing Internet speed, growing sophistication of devices, an explosion in data volumes and rapidly developing artificial intelligence. More and more jobs will disappear, as humans are replaced by computerisation, which is often faster, more efficient and safer. At the same time, though, many new jobs will emerge.

2. Peer to peer business in a global market 

Second is the rise of "peer to peer" (P2P) business. This refers to online platforms, such as Airbnb, Freelancer and Upwork, which allow individuals to employ one another on a casual basis, without having to go through a third party agent or company. This marketplace is global, so a person in Australia might hire an IT expert in India to build and maintain a website. 

3. Changing workforce demographics 

Thirdly, the make-up of Australia's workforce is changing. In the future, we can expect older and more diverse employees, created by an ageing population, delayed retirement, cultural diversification and improvements in overall health and well-being. 

4. An increasingly diverse economy

Last, but not least, the mining boom is over and the Australian economy is in the process of adapting. Sectors that are likely to grow the most include innovation, knowledge and services. At the same time, however, Australia's traditional trading partners in Asia are moving from developing to service-based economies. 

What's next? 

Would you like to learn more? Look out for Part Two, which examines megatrends predicted for the next 5-20 years.

About iFactory

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