The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us; indeed COVID-19 hastened its arrival, forcing changes we thought would be years away.
Working from home, video meetings, virtual summits and tele-health have become commonplace, while contact-free transactions are the norm. The speed at which businesses responded is a reminder about the fast pace that technology can be harnessed and change the face of our workplace.
These concerns have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which according to international research, has the potential to accelerate future of work changes.
While there is consensus that the types of skills required by industries of the future will change, there is little agreement concerning the number of job losses that could occur, or the quantity of new jobs created by automation.
Should we be worried?
The Committee for Perth has embarked on its 2020-2021 major project – the Future of Work: equipping WA and its people for the changing world of work.
The purpose of the research is to build a comprehensive understanding of how technology and automation, combined with relevant global and workforce megatrends plus COVID-19 are impacting jobs, skill requirements and industry needs in Perth and across the state.
Has the Future of Work Arrived? is the first FACTBase bulletin to be delivered under the project.
It found the industries most prone to automation were manufacturing; transport; sales and related fields; construction; administrative services; accommodation and food services; agriculture; and mining and resources.
Those least prone to automation include education; health; information and communications technology (ICT); computer science; business management and financial services; professional and scientific services; and arts and recreation services.
The bulletin also found that while Australia's economy was experiencing a structural shift from a goods-producing economy towards a services-oriented economy, the change has not been felt as strongly in WA due to its unique specialisation in mining.
The next project milestone is the release of our Future of Work survey results at our Perth in Focus public luncheon on November 24th. The only research of its kind to be undertaken across Perth and regional WA, the survey measures and identifies the major impacts on local businesses and organisations due to technological changes and the impact of COVID-19.
To keep up-to-date with our progress, or to RSVP to the Perth in Focus event, visit our website.