Our March 2 Blog post documented a flood of recent research into the likely impact of computerisation and automation on the workforce of the not-too-distant future.
Typical of the findings was a CSIRO/Australian Computer Society (ACS) report released in late February that found 44% of Australian jobs to be under threat from the inexorable influx of technological change in the next 20 years.
The issue has clearly hit a nerve, as we received an avalanche of reader responses to our snap poll on the subject. Our findings largely reflect the messages conveyed by the more substantial research that informed the Blog post.
Among our respondents, 80% believe that a significant number of jobs in their workplace are at risk from automation or computerisation.
However, an almost inverse proportion believed that threat extended to their own positions.
Researchers have emphasised the importance of education and upskilling to prepare the workforce for the coming disruption. However, only 28.6% of respondents to our survey reported having addressed the issues of technological change and career transition in their approach to staff training.
The skills graduates are bringing into the workforce have been a major talking point in recent times – particularly with reference to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Our results reflect concerns in this regard, with 57.1% of respondents reporting a perception of shortfalls in the skills of young graduates and their ability to adapt to the changing demands of the workplace.
And finally, it probably comes as no surprise that only 8.6% of respondents relate to the results of Deloitte’s recent survey, which found that, on average, employees with less than five years in the workforce “think they will retire at the age of 52”!
Many thanks to those who participated in this, our first effort at a straw poll to stimulate reader responses. Please feel free to add further to the discussion by leaving your comments and more detailed impressions below.
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