The path to prosperity Why the future of work is human
Australia must get to work. We have an opportunity to make better choices about our work, our workers and our workplaces to pave the path to prosperity for all Australians.
Australia has retained 27 years and counting of continuous economic growth, even through a period of global economic volatility. As a result, we benefit from high living standards (the third highest in the world according to the Human Development Index).
But looking forward, our future economic standing is not guaranteed. Improvements in future living standards rely on continued gains in productivity, and that means fostering creativity and innovation in the workplace.
A big part of our productivity story will be about people. Yet there is a lot of anxiety about the future of work. Indeed, some question whether there is a future of work.
But we shouldn’t be scared. Technology is not a substitute for people. Instead, it has the potential to make workforces more productive. Ultimately, it’s about augmentation, rather than automation or replacement. While jobs are changing in nature because of automation, they will not disappear altogether.
How we structure the future of work will say a lot about us as a society, and the decisions we make now will be a key driver of our economic success. The opportunity is large: If we make better choices about our work, our workers, and our workplaces, it could amount to a $36 billion annual boost to economic welfare.
The Building the Lucky Country series has been developed to prompt debate and conversations across business, industry associations, government and the media on issues facing the Australian economy.