Sunday, 28 February 2016 23:29

Initiative looks at the future of jobs in the digital economy

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The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has joined CSIRO’s Data61, ANZ Banking Group, the Commonwealth Department of Employment and the Boston Consulting Group in undertaking an initiative to raise awareness identifying the importance of digital literacy to the future job prospects of Australian workers.

The group has just released a keynote report – ‘Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce’ - identifying the issues around digital literacy and outlining a range of scenarios and trends shaping the jobs of the future in Australia’s economy.

CEO of the ACS, Andrew Johnson, commented on the importance of digital skills as an “enabler of future productivity growth”.

“What is becoming abundantly clear is the need for better education in the technology space. This report shows us that digital skills will be a requirement not only in the technology space, but in almost every job in the next 20 years.

“If we are able to drive a greater focus on education, we will develop an economy that is driven by highly skilled, digitally literate workers. We can, and must, be at the cutting edge of innovation, especially in the creative and knowledge economies. This report provides us with a range of challenges that need to be addressed, and we look forward to meeting them.”

The Minister for Employment and Minister for Women, Michealia Cash, launched the report in Sydney, saying: “The report has provided us with a deeper insight into the changing landscape of our workforce, brought about by huge technological shifts.

“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.”

Minister Cash said the report takes a holistic view of the economy, identifies the future needs of a digitally skilled workforce and offers deep analysis of the challenges faced.

“The megatrends identified in the report each relate to a specific influence on the workforce, and are based on research undertaken by a team from CSIRO and Data61 - they specifically address the exponential growth of technology, shifting nature of the labour market in a sharing economy, the rise of entrepreneurism, the need for greater demographic inclusion, the shift towards higher education standards and the growth of the creative, knowledge and service economies in the future."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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