Australia’s workforce is on the brink of a major transformation. Recent research predicts that 1.3 million full-time jobs, equivalent to 9.9% of the working population, will be automated within the next four years as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes mainstream. This monumental shift will not only reshape the job market but also bring notable productivity gains, as AI augments the roles of 6.6% of jobs, resulting in the creation of 369.2k new full-time positions to implement new technologies.

This research, commissioned by ServiceNow and conducted by Pearson, leverages machine learning to forecast how technology will redefine job tasks and its broader impact on Australia’s labour force and economy. It draws insights from an analysis of over 10 million job advertisements on platforms such as LinkedIn.

The impact of AI on the Australian workforce

Roles characterised by repetitive and technical tasks are expected to be most affected by AI adoption. Bank workers, with 45.8% of roles predicted to be automated, top the list, followed by bookkeepers (38.2%), accounts clerks (37.5%), checkout operators (36.9%), and finance brokers (36.8%), all of which are likely to undergo significant changes by 2027.

, Navigating the AI Revolution: Preparing the Australian Workforce for the Future

It’s clear that AI is set to become an indispensable tool across industries in the coming years. Unlocking the vast economic and productivity gains necessitates businesses, governments, and individuals to comprehend the impending shifts and prioritise skills development while harnessing the right technology platforms. This approach not only holds the potential to reverse declining productivity but also to address skills shortages by redirecting talent to the most in-demand areas.

AI augmentation and the path forward 

Even jobs that won’t be entirely automated are poised for transformation as AI integrates into workplaces, taking on a greater share of tasks. The research anticipates that Australian organisations will benefit from AU$91.8 billion in productivity gains and savings, underscoring the urgent need for upskilling and reskilling initiatives.

, Navigating the AI Revolution: Preparing the Australian Workforce for the Future

Historically, machines have been employed to eliminate repetitive tasks. By embracing AI, businesses and governments have the opportunity to enhance work quality. This research highlights how Australia can transform its workforce and scale its economy to ensure that people are engaged in tasks where their unique skills shine.

The 2022 National Skills Commission annual update highlights that 286 Australian occupations currently face national shortages. Concurrently, data from the Productivity Commission indicates that productivity growth has reached a 60-year low.

Many jobs will undergo significant augmentation as AI assists in increasing productivity. Jobs like migration agents (31.8% of tasks aided by AI), network administrators (29.1%), systems administrators (28.1%), hardware technicians (28.0%), and telecommunications engineering professionals (27.8%) are among those where over a quarter of tasks will be taken on by AI-powered tools.

Preparing for the AI-driven future

Leaders who embrace AI must initiate planning for updated job descriptions and team structures today, as new roles emerge. The focus should be on identifying the most significant shifts and investing in customised training pathways to facilitate reskilling. For employees, acquiring proficiency in using AI tools to enhance their competitiveness is crucial. This proactive approach will future-proof careers, enhance well-being, and increase overall team productivity.

The research goes beyond highlighting the impact of AI; it provides insights into alternative career paths for individuals who may be affected, guiding them on how to transition into new roles and the training required for successful transitions.

A surge in technology jobs – and an IT skills shortage

Among the most significant surges in demand are technology-related roles, with an additional 370,000 positions anticipated to be required to drive Australia’s adoption and deployment of technology. Technology is rapidly becoming the backbone of various industries, necessitating a skilled workforce to harness its potential.

At the same time, Australia – like many countries – is experiencing a severe skills shortage. As outlined in the recently released AIIA Digital State of the Nation 2023 report, the situation is exacerbated by the fact that the sectors facing the most acute skill shortages are precisely those where expertise will be in the highest demand.

The report highlights that skill shortages continue to rank as the foremost impediment to business growth in Australia, standing at 44%. This surpasses other challenges such as restricted access to financing, limited market demand for products and services, and supply-related constraints. An alarming 50% of Australian enterprises are resorting to global outsourcing of IT roles due to the scarcity of local talent, with AI (56%) and cybersecurity (40%) emerging as the most frequently outsourced skill sets.

, Navigating the AI Revolution: Preparing the Australian Workforce for the Future

The role of our ISO27001 certified MSP

In this era of AI-driven transformation, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across diverse sectors, including manufacturing, local government, health, finance, and education, face the challenge of adapting to these technological shifts. Our ISO27001 certified Managed Service Provider (MSP) offers an affordable IT outsourcing solution to empower SMBs in navigating this transition.

Our tech outsourcing services encompass IT support, cloud services, cybersecurity, and C-level IT strategy consulting. Here’s how our MSP can be a strategic ally for SMBs during a national IT skills shortage:

  • Cost-effective IT outsourcing: SMBs can benefit from cost savings by outsourcing their IT needs instead of hiring and training in-house IT staff.
  • Expertise across key domains: Our team comprises experts in various IT domains, ensuring that SMBs gain access to a broad range of knowledge and experience.
  • Flexible, customised solutions: Our services are tailored to meet the unique requirements of SMBs in various sectors, ensuring scalability and alignment with business objectives.
  • World-class security: In an age of increasing cyber threats, our cybersecurity expertise ensures SMBs’ data remains secure and vulnerabilities are promptly addressed.
  • Efficiency and productivity: Outsourcing IT functions allows employees to focus on core tasks, boosting overall efficiency and productivity.
  • Proactive problem solving: Our MSP team monitors IT infrastructure round-the-clock, identifying and addressing issues before they escalate, minimising downtime.

IT outsourcing – Affordable solutions for the future of business

The era of AI is reshaping the Australian workforce and economy, promising significant productivity gains but also necessitating workforce reskilling and upskilling. As roles evolve and technology plays an increasingly central role in businesses across sectors, SMBs can turn to our ISO27001 certified MSP for affordable IT outsourcing solutions. Our comprehensive services, including IT support, cloud services, cybersecurity, and C-level IT strategy consulting, are tailored to meet the unique needs of SMBs. Embrace the future with confidence, and let our MSP empower your business to thrive in the age of AI. Let’s chat. 

, Navigating the AI Revolution: Preparing the Australian Workforce for the Future

Written by

Milan Rajkovic

Milan is the CEO at Otto – where his focus is changing IT up. Milan is highly focused and skilled in Storage, IT Service Management, IT Strategy, Professional Services, and Servers.