Future-proofing our communities requires us all to stay ahead of the curve, embrace new technologies and learn the skills needed to thrive in this new environment.
Many businesses have continuity plans in place to prepare for future events. Building a workplace culture that embraces change helps prepare businesses for what might unfold, but COVID-19 has shown there are some events we’re simply not prepared for.
Pandemics have a history of transforming societies. The Spanish Flu saw women enter the workforce in large numbers and the Black Plague laid the foundation for the Age of Enlightenment, stamping out opinion about how the world worked toward a shared understanding of how the world should look.
In 2020, we’re beginning to question what defines an essential service or what skills are of most value. As businesses and governments begin to reboot our economy, it’s important to understand how we can future-proof the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region by understanding our comparative advantage and planning for the jobs of tomorrow.
Let’s explore two skills needed to help future-proof our community.
Rather than promote jobs that can’t be automated, our region is working on investing in a workforce of life-long learners. We must acknowledge that machines are getting more advanced each year and at a rate that’s hard to predict.
The McKinsey Global Institute found by 2030, up to 14 per cent of the global workforce may need to work a different job and all workers will need greater adaptability to excel in their current roles.
Life-long learning and flexible arrangements between employers and education providers will focus a person’s attention on increasing the value of their skill-set rather than preserving what they already know. Micro-credentials and subsidised training programs are making it easier for workers to retrain on the job and in their own time.
Not only does life-long learning help address technical skills-gaps, but it also sustains a growth mindset throughout a person’s career. Founder of the Webby Awards and filmmaker, Tiffany Shlain wrote:
“The skills needed to succeed in today’s world and the future are curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking and empathy.”
The Queensland Government’s $500 million worker retraining and assistance program provides a good example of what continuous learning looks like both in form and function. Wellbeing, leadership and management skills are included as top skills for job seekers alongside communication, resilience and training, all delivered via easy to use video modules.
The recently announced Resources Centre of Excellence (RCOE) and Chair of Automation and Future Work Skills at CQUniversity collaboration is a great example of how important new skills and training opportunity is for this region.
GW3 is currently working with professional services firm, KPMG to create a future employment blueprint for the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region. Expected to be released this August, the report will help inform career decisions by revealing what skills are in demand in our key industries.
Bank tellers between 1995 and 2005 decreased by approximately 50,000 due to the introduction of the ATM machine. During the same period, roughly the same number of roles in finance professions were generated.
Increased personalisation of services, driven by digital technologies, means work will be defined by digital skills and creative thinking. Whether it’s through a micro-credential offered by an Australian tertiary education provider or a free online training course, digital skills are becoming more affordable and attainable.
Jobs in healthcare, agriculture and other business professions are predicted to see some of the largest employment gains in Australia due to digital transformation. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of telehealth, requiring more customer service and health professionals who can manage both people and technology.
Small business owners also had to tap into their entrepreneurial mindset to find creative ways to continue trading during social restrictions. Setting up an online store is getting simpler thanks to e-commerce solutions and virtual services helped maintain relations with customers or, in some cases, substituted physical services all together.
As more of us continue to work from home and operate new technologies, digital literacy will become an even more essential part of our daily lives. Learning how to use new technologies while maintaining a growth mindset throughout your career are crucial first steps to securing your future.
Tell us what you think are the most important skills for tomorrow’s workforce by commenting below.