There has been a lot of talk about the impacts of technology on work and the workforce: the fears, opportunities, the good and bad.
In this report from the Australian Computer Society (ACS), we focus on the impacts on education and training.
Change is a coming!
As the ASC notes:
“The Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce report highlights the significant and far-reaching impact of emerging technologies on the Australian workforce in the next fifteen years and how the growth in technological capabilities is already transforming supply chains, reshaping the workforce and redefining jobs.”
Other reports we have featured in the past on Industry 4.0 have highlighted (for example, here and here), many jobs are ‘at risk’ from automation, about 2.7 million ACS estimates by 2034. However, many more – twice as many – can be created if the right investments are made, and ACS estimates that almost 4.5 million workers will have their jobs ‘augmented’. Augmentation and helping those whose jobs are at risk or displaced will require ‘investment’ in education and reskilling and moving to a process of continuous learning. So:
“Education and re-skilling the workforce is crucial to prevent long-term structural unemployment and rising inequality.”
The report looks at the impact on a wide range of industries: Accommodation and Food Services; Administrative and Support Services; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Arts and Recreational Services; Construction; Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; Financial and Insurance; Health Care and Social Assistance; Information, Media and Telecommunications; Manufacturing; Mining; Professional, Scientific and Technical
Services; Public Administration and Safety; Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services; Retail and Wholesale Trade; Transport, Postal and Warehousing and ‘Other Services’.
So, maybe it’s worth taking a look at the impacts in the areas in which you teach or work?
Let’s focus on education and training, though
The first thing is that education and training is the least ‘automatable’ industry. Much of it may also be unimpacted, but it is also one of those capable of higher levels of augmentation than many other industry sectors as the coronavirus pandemic is teaching us. In summary, then:
“Roles in the Education and Training industry are more subject to augmentation rather than automation.”
The augmentation levels are similar to, but slightly lower than, those for primary and secondary school teachers. Interestingly, augmentation levels for university staff are seen as lower than all of these, but these staff are more exposed to automation.