The future of work is skilled

The future of work is skilled

The state of Australia's skills - Inaugural report

The path forward for Australia’s economy centres around a workforce skilled in care, computing, cognitive abilities and communication, or the “four Cs”.

National Skills Commissioner, Adam Boyton, today launched the State of Australia’s Skills 2021: now and into the future report, which outlines the current, emerging and future skills needs of Australia.

“Our research and analysis confirm that the shape of Australia’s workforce is changing as we deal with big forces like the ongoing shift to services, advances in technology, growing automation and the need for post-school education and training,” Mr Boyton said.

More than 90% of new jobs that will emerge in the next five years will require post-school qualifications.”

The NSC’s report finds that some of the most important and rapidly growing skills needs over the coming years are:

  • care – the group of skills responding to demographic change, such as the ageing of the population
  • computing – a group of skills needed to respond to the digital world and the increasing use of digital technologies across the entire economy
  • cognitive abilities – the group of advanced reasoning and higher order skills computers cannot easily replace, especially non-routine cognitive skills
  • communication – the group of skills needed to collaborate and engage within and across workplaces.

The report also identifies which skills are emerging and trending in Australia.

“Data and digital skills are the fastest growing emerging skills employers are seeking. What we also need to recognise is that these skills are also increasingly required in a broad range of jobs across the economy.

“For instance, a decade ago, social media skills would not have been needed by a childcare centre or hotel manager. But today these roles increasingly require these skills.”

The NSC’s analysis found that, apart from technical skills, cognitive and communication skills are also likely to become increasingly important.

“The ongoing shift to a services economy and the NSC’s analysis of core skills and automatability highlights the need for high level oral and written communication skills into the future. 

“It is clear we will need a highly skilled workforce to support our economic growth into the future. The challenge is to shape Australia’s workforce to meet employers needs now, secure opportunities for Australian businesses to grow local jobs in the future and compete as a key player in the global economy,” Mr Boyton said.

To full report can be read here.