June 19, 2019

Peak Human Potential – Preparing Australia’s Workforce for the Digital Future

Australia’s workforce – and, by extension, its economy – is on the precipice of massive change. With digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, high-tech robotics and the Internet of Things disrupting and displacing human labour at an accelerating rate, the workers of today and tomorrow face uncertainty about job security. It is imperative that educators, policy makers and employers think carefully about how to prepare workers for the new future of work and take action before it’s too late.

The OECD estimates that 14% of existing jobs in Australia could disappear over the next 15 to 20 years, and a further 32% of jobs are likely subject to radical change. 

McKinsey Australia estimates that almost 50% of work tasks performed by people could be displaced by automation by 2030.

These statistics are alarming; a warning sign that urgent change is needed. Just as the Australian government invested $50 billion to build the National Broadband Network, the national infrastructure needed to accelerate the digital revolution that began in the 1990s, new investment is now required.

It’s time for Australia to invest in our workers with the skills, competencies and know-how required to thrive in the digital, automated future and build a national learning infrastructure.

Up against automation technologies, how can Australian workers gain a competitive advantage? What does success for the worker of the future look like? We surveyed 1,000 working Australians – from bus drivers to CEOs, from freelancers to full-time workers, from Millennials to Baby Boomers, and from all sectors of the economy – to understand how they expect to succeed in the future of work.


Peak Human Potential – Swinburne University June 2019