Workplace shifts as a result of expected automation were in the news after a McKinsey report found that 46% of jobs in Australia by 2030 will be impacted by automation. The McKinsey report estimates 3.5 million to 6.5 million full-time equivalent jobs could be affected, with 1.8 million to 5 million workers needing to change professions. However, far from being pessimistic about these changes the report goes on to look at the opportunities in terms of potential economic and income benefits as new business opportunities and better paying jobs result.
How does education meet these changing demands? Firstly, we need to ensure that students leave school with the knowledge they need to be life long learners. They will need to be adaptable and flexible and be able to work with others to identify problems and find solutions. They must pay attention to their own professional learning and changes to world around them. Secondly a sound basis in STEM related subjects will continue to be of value. Understanding the opportunities that come with technology and its impact on our lives and workplaces will be essential tools to access this new economy.