Last week we mentioned the CSIRO released a report on “Tomorrows digitally enabled workforce”. At 112 pages it’s certainly a detailed document, but it’s worth also looking at the Appendix on modelling.
In “Modelling occupation changes in Australia”, the CSIRO identified 4 different work activities: Knowledge, Influencing people, Machines and Movement, Personal Services.
In the first model, skills are noted as being associated with employment growth, with more highly skilled occupations showing stronger growth. Those occupations in which factor 2 activities (characterised as involving guiding and influencing people) are relatively important were associated with significantly higher employment growth. While Occupations in which factor 3 activities (which include physical movement and the maintenance and operation of machinery) were important grew at a significantly lower rate. Factors 1 (knowledge related activities) and 4 (personal service) had no significant relationship with employment growth.
In the second model, which considered a reflection on training pathways. Again, occupations involving physical movement and the maintenance and operation of machinery were found to have grown significantly less than other occupations, while those involving higher level people skills grew faster.
Among lower skilled occupations (levels 3-5), those in which interacting with computers is relatively important showed much lower growth (and in many cases declined) compared to other occupations with similar overall skill levels. This is likely to reflect the impacts of offshoring and automation on clerical and administrative jobs. Only among the most highly skilled occupations was computer use associated with increased employment growth.
Summary: This modelling supports the conclusions in “Tomorrows digitally enabled workforce” and reinforces the message we have continually received:
- Activities where accountants are guiding and influencing their clients are relatively important and are associated with significantly higher employment growth. For business owners this represents higher business growth.
- Offshoring and automation affect lower skilled occupations, specifically those in which interacting with computers is relatively important.
- Clerical and administrative jobs are likely most at risk from offshoring and automation.