Workforce | Skills

Australia's future workforce?

CEDA's major research report for 2015 focuses on the jobs and skills developments needed for the future of work to ensure Australia's continued economic grow and diversification.

This publication reviews the significant technological issues our workforce will face and considers what needs to be done to ensure we develop industries, skills and jobs for a future that is still largely unknown.

Modelling in this report has found that almost five million Australian jobs – around 40 per cent of the workforce – face the high probability of being replaced by computers in the next 10 to 15 years.

CEDA's major research report for 2015, Australia's future workforce? focuses on what jobs and skills we need to develop to ensure our economy continues to grow and diversify.

Discussion around jobs often focuses on the here and now. However, if Australia is to maintain a robust economy that is internationally competitive, we must plan now for the changes, challenges and opportunities we face in developing the right jobs and skills for future generations.

In this report, CEDA examines:

  • How the next wave of the industrial revolution will fundamentally reshape business activity;
  • The high probability that 40 per cent of Australia’s workforce, more than five million people, could be replaced by automation within the next 10 to 20 years;
  • Changes that will occur in the five key sectors identified in the Federal Government's innovation plan;
  • Jobs of the future and exporting and outsourcing opportunities;
  • How businesses operating on the technological frontier are adapting;
  • What digital disruption means to existing business practices; and
  • What policy levers are available to maximise opportunities.

Report launch and events

Digital disruption and Australia's future workforce
Report launch, Melbourne, 16 June 2015
Australia's future workforce - Generation Next
Sydney, 19 June 2015
CEDA research report - Australia's future workforce
Adelaide, 18 June 2015
Vice Chancellors panel: Australia's future workforce
Brisbane, 26 June 2015
Future work: skills, productivity and innovation
Gold Coast, 18 June 2015
Australia's future workforce
Perth, 27 July 2015

Launch and event highlights

Report chapters and authors

Section 1: Global trends

Chapter 1.1
Reshaping work for the future
Professor Lynda Gratton

Chapter 1.2
The impact of emerging technologies in the workforce of the future
Professor Hugh Bradlow

Chapter 1.3
How next-gen computing is changing the way we work
Belinda Tee and Jessica Xu

Chapter 1.4
The impact of computerisation and automation on future employment
Hugh Durrant-Whyte, Lachlan McCalman, Simon O’Callaghan, Alistair Reid and Daniel Steinberg

Chapter 1.5
Case study: Automation and Australia’s future workforce
Michael Gollschewski

Chapter 1.6
Digital disruption – what, why and how
Sarv Girn

Chapter 1.7
Megatrends and Australia’s future: Older and wiser?
Dr Fiona McKenzie

Section 2: Australian stocktake

Chapter 2.1
Australia’s shifting economy
Tim Bradley

Chapter 2.2
Technological and structural change in Australia's labour market
Professor Phil Lewis

Chapter 2.3
Information technology and the Australian labour market
Professor Jeff Borland and Dr Michael Coelli

Chapter 2.4
Stability of education earnings gaps in Australia
Dr Michael Coelli


Section 3: The future worker

Chapter 3.1
Developing the capacity to adapt to industry transformation
Sue Beitz

Chapter 3.2
Closing the gender gap in labour supply
Professor Patricia Apps

Chapter 3.3
Your future employer – yourself
Ken Phillips

Chapter 3.4:
Where the jobs are
Phil Ruthven AM

Section 4: Policy response

Chapter 4.1
The strategic imperative: Australia's place in the global labour market
Professor Steven Callander

Chapter 4.2
Future skills, industry policy and a new social contract
Professor Roy Green, Professor Ian Marsh and Professor Christos Pitelis

Chapter 4.3
A brave new world of higher education
Professor Jane den Hollander

Chapter 4.4
Future skills in information technology
Hugh Durrant-Whyte

Chapter 4.5
Northern lights
Dr Andrew Scott