Automation to put 2.7 million jobs at risk

11 March, 2020 by
Madeline Woolway

A new report on technology in the workplace has revealed automation will put 2.7 million Australian jobs at risk over the next 15 years.

Jobs are currently being augmented by technology at a rapid rate according to The Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce report, released on 11 March by AI work analytics platform Faethm and ACS, the professional association for Australia’s technology sector.

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While it’s administration and support services have the highest rate of automation, the accommodation and foodservice industry is also at risk. About 222,000 people in the sector could loose their jobs to automation by 2035.

Specific roles are more likely to impacted than others. Kitchen hands and fast food cooks are first in the firing line with 45 percent and 44 percent of jobs automatable.

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Chefs are the safest with just one percent of jobs automatable, with baristas and restaurant managers also less likely (13 percent) to loose their jobs to automisation.

Overall the industry is better primed for augmentation rather than automisation.

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On the flip side, there’s scope for emerging technology to generate an additional 454,000 job for the industry, comprising 92,000 technical jobs and 362,000 non-technical jobs.

Taking into account the role of automation, which could see 223,000 subsumed, it’s thought there will be a net increase of 232,000 roles or 23 percent.

Potential to re-skill and transition

Faethm and ACS, have suggested that many of the at risk professions have transferrable skills, encouraging workers to focus on knowledge gaps and think broadly about key areas including critical thinking, sales and marketing, reading comprehension, design, coordination and clerical skills.

Possible job corridors for kitchenhands, for example, include dietetic technicians and teachers, either at TAFE or in the home economics departments of schools.

“The outcomes tabled in our Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce report provide deep insights for businesses to inform future workforce development plans, as well as for policy makers to maximise the participation rate of all citizens in the opportunities afforded by the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said ACS CEO Andrew Johnson.

The ACS called for the potential impact of should be addressed by government with a macro, cross-policy approach, signalling concern that Australia’s investment in skills development and transitioning the workforce to date is outstripped by other countries’.

Image: Unsplash