Up to 4.6 million jobs could be at risk within a decade if Australia fails to create a workforce for the future, according to a new discussion paper released by startups advocacy group, StartupAUS.
The paper – written in conjunction with Sydney startups Expert360, and CodeCamp, as well as LinkedIn – concluded that few jobs would be protected entirely from technological advancements.
Startup and tech companies, on the other hand, will generate forward-looking jobs based on emerging technologies.
StartupAUS CEO, Alex McCauley, said that for every job in high growth tech companies, as many as five tangible jobs are created.
“The paper highlights the extensive economic benefits of building innovation hubs which have powerful multiplier effects. There’s a lot at stake here – if we get it right, we’ll be able to capitalise on it,” he said.
“The findings reveal the very real need for Australia to keep up its momentum on innovation and startup policy. This is not a niche area, it’s about what we need to do to help our whole economy manage its inevitable transition.
“We have two new portfolio Ministers who will be getting across these issues very rapidly and in a very focused way. This paper highlights the need for that urgency and focus,” said McCauley.
LinkedIn data included in the paper said that 16 of the 20 most in-demand skills in Australia now are technology-related. It said that workers with a mix of entrepreneurial, STEM, creative, and social skills will be in increasingly high demand to support the core of Australia’s innovation ecosystem.
The paper suggested that specialised immigration would be a vital part of injecting skills in Australia’s current workforce to deal with a talent shortage in the STEM field. Thriving innovation hubs in the nation’s major cities will help attract this talent from around the world, StartupAUS said.
“As our tech startup ecosystem develops, Australia must be open to importing talent from overseas, and at the same time, accept that skilled Australians will move offshore. This is a natural part of the modern employment landscape for high skill workers,” said McCauley.
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