AI and automation: Unlocking job opportunities for Australia’s economy

  • Eric Swift
  • Careers
  • Solutions
  • 2023
August 24, 2023

AI and automation: man and woman looking at a tablet in office overlooking Harbor Bridge

As the Australian workforce braces for increased AI and automation, individuals must adapt by acquiring new skills. In doing so, Australians can expand the impact of their work, embark on more fulfilling career paths, and increase their income potential.

Recent ServiceNow-commissioned research from Pearson points to major changes in the workforce—in Australia and around the world—due to the implementation of AI and other technologies. Investing in upskilling and reskilling initiatives can give individuals greater control over their careers while enabling businesses to tap into a more skilled talent pool, fostering innovation and growth across various industries.

Bracing for tech-tonic shifts

To unlock the potential of AI and automation, businesses, governments, and individuals must understand the future shifts in the job market and plan accordingly. By aiding with repetitive tasks, AI frees time for humans to focus on more creative, strategic, and stimulating work. This can boost productivity, job satisfaction, and employee engagement.

AI advances will enable nontechnical individuals to accomplish more with technology. Innovations such as text-to-code will use AI to help anyone create new applications with simple text inputs. This expansion of accessibility will open new avenues of innovation and entrepreneurship, fueling growth. The Pearson study identifies nearly AUD$92 billion in productivity gains and cost savings that AI could deliver in Australia by 2027.

Preparing the workforce

As workforce automation continues to advance, companies must consider three themes identified in the research to prepare their workforce:

1. Augment roles with AI

AI will be integrated as a tool into existing job functions to make specific roles more efficient, allowing employees to focus on higher-value and more strategic work.

The Pearson research found AI will take on more than 30% of tasks for certain jobs, augmenting—or increasing the efficiency of roles to boost productivity—6.6% of jobs (885,200) in the country. Organizations will need to understand what tasks are best suited to AI and how people can use their increased time and capacity for higher-impact work.

2. Upskill and reskill workers

The most automatable roles include:

  • Bank workers (45.8% of roles set to be automated by 2027) 

  • Bookkeepers (38.2%)  

  • Accounts clerks (37.5%) 

  • Checkout operators (36.9%)  

  • Finance brokers (36.8%) 

Manual and repetitive tasks are central to the traditional responsibilities of these roles. AI and automation tools can do the tasks more efficiently. This presents a significant opportunity for upskilling and reskilling workers. Leaders embracing AI must start planning for updated job descriptions and team structures as new jobs emerge.

3. Power talent transformation

To capture growth opportunities, organizations should establish new skilling frameworks and training. The priority is identifying the biggest shifts and investing in tailored training pathways to help people reskill.

It’s essential that employees learn how to use AI tools to make themselves more competitive. With 369,000 new technology jobs required in Australia to meet the demand for AI and other technologies by 2027, according to the Pearson research, programs like RiseUp with ServiceNow can help workers upskill and reskill.

Taking control of career paths

In this rapidly evolving work landscape, individuals need to proactively shape their career paths. Three key steps can help empower Australians to take control of their future:

  • Engage with employers. Initiate a conversation with employers to understand existing employee growth and development programs. By actively participating in these, individuals can acquire the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in an AI-powered economy.

  • Identify in-demand skills. While technical skills remain important, human skills—specifically communication, customer service, leadership, attention to detail, and collaboration—are the most sought-after by employers in Australia, the UK, the U.S., and Canada, according to the Pearson Skills Outlook to build these skills to remain in demand.

  • Embrace new opportunities. Although some jobs may be at risk of automation, the rise of AI will also create new opportunities. Embracing technological advancements and upskilling can prepare individuals for these emerging roles. By staying curious and adaptable, and up to date with the latest AI technologies, people can position themselves for success.

AI will play a pivotal role in reshaping Australia's employment landscape. Individuals must understand these shifts, plan, and actively pursue skill development. At the same time, businesses must support and upskill workers during this transition.

By harnessing AI's potential, organizations and individuals can unlock economic growth, maximize productivity, and shape a future in which humans and machines work together for maximum impact.

Get more insights about AI’s impact on the tech skills of tomorrow.

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