This report summarises the results from the Workforce Development Needs Survey 2018 and provides the Ai Group with significant data about the workforce development and skills needs of employers.

The pace of change in digital technologies continues to increase across the globe creating digitally-enabled environments that will affect every company. Education and training has been identified as one of the most critical factors shaping workforce outcomes that lead to future-focused companies. New approaches to education, training and re-skilling must be implemented to maximise the benefits of the digital economy. Change is progressing in our education and training systems but are they keeping up with the rapid pace?

The Australian Industry Group’s 2018 Workforce Development Needs Survey suggests that in many areas this is not the case. The survey, which provides an important gauge of employer sentiment around skill needs and training practices at a critical time for industry transformation, has found major skills pressures facing employers. Without an education and training sector that can adapt quickly to the needs of the digital economy Australia’s business sector will suffer competitively into the future.

As businesses adapt to new technologies and the changed conditions under which business is done they are facing new demands on their workforce capabilities and cultures. Imperatives include higher level skills, advanced technical and soft skills, digital literacy and changed management capabilities to effectively negotiate autonomous work roles and partner with machines. Frequent re-skilling is becoming a constant.

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