The Australian workforce is in for a major shakeup with 1.3 million full-time jobs – or 9.9 per cent of Australia’s working population – set to be automated in the next four years thanks to AI.
According to research from Pearson, AI will make roles with high levels of repetitive and technical tasks almost untenable. Those most affected professions include bank workers (45.8 per cent of roles set to be automated), bookkeepers (38.2 per cent), accounts clerks (37.5 per cent), checkout operators (36.9 per cent) and finance brokers (36.8 per cent) the most likely to be affected by 2027.
However, AI will also deliver productivity gains by significantly increasing efficiency within 6.6 per cent of jobs — or 885,000 roles across Australia. The tech will also add the equivalent of 2.8 per cent more full-time employees, or 369,200 people, who will be needed to implement new technologies.
“The automation revolution has begun. In the next four years, we believe AI will become an essential tool for people across industries. Unlocking the huge economic and productivity gains will require businesses, governments, and individuals to understand what shifts will occur, and prioritising skills and using the right technology platforms to take advantage. This will help reverse declining Australian productivity, and it will also address skills shortages by freeing up talent to work in the most in-demand areas,” said Eric Swift, VP and managing director of ServiceNow Australia and New Zealand, which commissioned the research.
However, the research also revealed that not all hope is lost for workers currently lacking the skills to make the step into an AI-powered workforce. Looking at more than 6,000 jobs, the research showed that a new cadre of systems implementers and tech enablers will be required to put these AI tools to use.
One such worker who has already made the switch is Teresa Ko (pictured). The mum-of-three had spent two decades working in customer service as an agent and running contact centres. However, four years ago she decided to strike out on her own and open a restaurant. COVID, however, had other ideas and brought her burgeoning career as a restauranteur to an end.
Despite having no IT qualifications (despite some self-taught coding skills) Ko signed up for the ServiceNow NexGen traineeship that gave her training and allowed her to land a new role as a technical consultant for software company, Thirdera. Now, Ko uses generative AI to assist with coding but is still honing her craft.
“For people like me who have met a career crossroads, all it takes is a passion and the right upskilling program to help you achieve your goal. You don’t need to be a technical person, especially with automation and AI – ServiceNow makes it possible for people to explore developer roles without the previously required coding experience,” said Ko.
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