Aug 2016

Economy in Transition – Startups, innovation and a workforce for the future

By: Odyssey Publication
Tags: Automation, Innovation, Offshoring, Outsourcing, Startups

The paperEconomy in Transition – Startups, innovation and a workforce for the future, was recently released by StartupAUS, the national start-up advocacy group.

The discussion paper warns up to 4.6 million jobs may be at risk if Australia does not prepare its workforce for the digital future.

The paper was produced with global networking firm LinkedIn and Sydney startups Expert360 and CodeCamp, and suggests few jobs will be entirely immune to the impacts of technology.

As you’d expect, jobs least affected will involve high levels of human creativity or social intelligence.  While those jobs most at risk from automation are in accommodation and food services, transportation and warehousing, retail, manufacturing and administrative and support services.

This seems to be a recurring theme in this digital age. Automation will impact the work required to be done, and offshoring/outsourcing will drive prices down through providing global competition. This will be felt most strongly by jobs with lower levels of human creativity or social intelligence.

According to LinkedIn data, 16 of the 20 most in-demand skills in Australia are technology related, and there will be a growing demand for workers with a combination of entrepreneurial, STEM, creative, and social skills.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills are key skills needed in today’s workplace where environments require problem solving, analytical thinking, and the ability to work independently.

Shifting technology is driving automation and leading to obsolescence of traditional roles, and an increase in the importance of workers with entrepreneurial, STEM, creative and social skills.

At the same time the employment model is changing. Independent work becoming increasingly important to Australia’s economic structure, and this impacts traditional employment models.

Technological changes are likely to continue reshape the job market in a relatively short period, both in Australia and globally. This will present some challenges as well as a broad array of opportunities.

For Australian accountants, the traditional business model of compliance is changing. How well the accounting firm of the future positions itself in this current environment will determine the extent to which firms can minimise downside and take advantage of upside.