Technology could soon have us all unemployed

SCIENCE fiction could soon become a reality on the North Coast with more than 50% of jobs under threat from technology in the next 10-15 years.

A report on the future of Australia's workforce found numerous local jobs had a moderate to high likelihood of being lost to technological advancements.

Kyogle, Tweed, Ballina to be impacted

Workers in the Kyogle and Tweed Heads local government areas were expected to feel the impact the most, while fewer Byron Bay occupations would be affected.

Technology is already coming to the aid of Ballina Shire Council in the wake of recent shark attacks.

Ballina mayor David Wright said the council had been offered the use of a drone for shark spotting, rather than spending tens-of-thousands-of dollars on a helicopter.

He said any other local industries impacted would adapt to the changing professional landscape.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia report predicted a high probability technology could replace more than five million jobs within 15 years.

Widespread computerisation of normal human jobs was expected to expand competition through reducing consumer costs and worker incomes.

Remote locations

Another part of what has been dubbed the new industrial revolution is globalisation, where workers use technology to perform jobs in remote locations.

A new report from the Foundation for Young Australians found more than 90% of the current workforce would need digital skills to communicate and find information to perform their roles in the next two to five years.

Committee chief Stephen Martin said innovation and reskilling mature age workers were vital to addressing the rapidly changing employment scene.

Danish scheme

He suggested a Danish scheme where people were trained in professions the economy needed instead of participating in work-for-the-dole projects.

But Prof Martin said new jobs and industries would emerge if Australia planned and invested in the right areas.

Although the Federal Government has allocated $190 million over four years to drive workplace innovation, Prof Martin said more money was needed.


NEARLY 60% of Australian students are studying or training for occupations where at least two thirds of jobs will be automated in coming decades, a new report has found.

The Foundation for Young Australians report warned many of those jobs could vanish in 10 to 15 years.

"We need to provide our young people with a different set of skills, to allow them to navigate their way through a diverse employment journey that will include around five career changes and an average of 17 different jobs," said Jan Owen, the foundation's chief.

Ms Owen said school students needed to focus on communication, financial and digital literacy, project management, creativity and innovation.

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