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Developing the workforce for a digital future

Addressing critical issues and planning for action

27 Jan 2018

The fourth industrial age rolling out across the globe is creating a digitally-enabled environment that will affect every company. Digital innovation has the capacity to transform practices, raise performance and increase growth across all industry sectors. The pace of change in digital technologies continues to increase and become more embedded in the economy.

Key points:

- Digital transformation is changing the global economy

- Automation, robotics, machine learning and computerisation are advancing rapidly

- Changing work arrangements are emerging across some sectors where businesses are taking advantage of lower transaction costs

- Some jobs will be lost and new jobs created

- Demand is increasing for higher skilled workers as routine work declines

- Not just more but new skills are required for the workforce

- These include digital literacy skills, STEM skills, skills for Industry 4.0, enterprise and entrepreneurial skills and new management capabilities

- Education and training sectors need to develop new workforce capabilities

- School systems need to focus on digital and ICT skills, STEM education and general literacy and numeracy proficiency

- The VET sector provides some coverage of digital skills but needs a sharper focus on higher order skills

- Higher education needs to focus on cooperation with industry, leadership and management development and the expansion of micro-credentialing

- Industry needs to concentrate on workforce development and upskilling

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