Your job may be automated by 2025

Around 40 per cent of Australian jobs could be replaced by technology by 2025.

Your job may be automated by 2025

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has released a report that predicts around 40 per cent of Australian jobs could be replaced by technology within 10 to 15 years.

The report estimates that computerisation and automated systems could make almost five million Australian jobs redundant by 2025, thanks to rapid advances in this type of technology.

Almost 40 per cent of jobs that currently exist face a high probability of being made obsolete in the next two decades, with a further 18.4 per cent of jobs having a medium probability of being replaced. In some parts of rural and regional Australia, there is a high likelihood of job losses being around the 60 per cent mark.

“While we have seen automation replace some jobs in areas such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing, other areas where we are likely to see change are, for example, the health sector, which to date has remained largely untouched by technological change,” said CEDA Chief Executive Stephen Martin.

And it’s not just low-paid, manual jobs at risk, but also professions such as dentistry, chemical engineering, nursing and data analysis.

The advent of autonomous vehicles could also profoundly affect around 28 per cent of Australians currently employed in jobs involving driving.

Professor Martin says we are, “woefully underfunded compared to global competitors”. Current funding provided by the government to tackle this challenge amounts to only AU$190 million over four years, compared to the United Kingdom’s AU$3 billion over the same period. He believes if the government doesn’t prepare for these technological changes, we are in danger of being left behind.

“If we develop the right policies now, we have the potential to reduce the impact of these challenges and ensure our economy remains robust,” said Professor Martin.

Read more at The Australian


Opinion: It’s not all doom and gloom

The world is on the verge of a new industrial revolution and Australia needs to plan for a future based around rapid technological advances or we, and our economy, will suffer.

The results of this report may sound ominous, especially when we take into consideration that the government wants to extend the retirement age to 70. At first glance we may be alarmed at how seniors can expect to retain, or even find employment when, by 2025, ‘the machines’ will most likely be doing almost half the work that currently exists. But it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom.

Admittedly, I have an optimistic view of automation. It’s strange to think that many things that humans do today will be done by robots in 10 years time, but I believe there is potential for great opportunity and that automation could be a blessing in disguise for us all.

In theory, automation should lower the cost of living. Manufacturing costs should be reduced, because companies will no longer have to pay and maintain staff, making products less expensive and readily available. As I said though, that’s just a theory.

“Sure,” I hear you say, “but where will we get the money to pay for these products if we don’t have a job?”

There will always be a demand for skilled human work; we just need to reshape our workforce around these technological advances. We will always need problem solvers and people who can think outside the box. Creativity will come at a premium. So, get out your knitting needles and Mason jars, because the hand made scarves and jams and preserves, for which you are famous, could fetch a high price in the future.

It’s also possible that automation will look after the heavy lifting tasks that would otherwise preclude many seniors from employment. If the robots are doing the manual labour, that leaves those who may not be physically capable, but still have the mental capacity, to manage the process. This potentially translates to seniors having more employment opportunities in the future.  Of course, this would require employers changing their attitudes towards hiring mature-age workers. But hey, if we’re being optimistic, why not?

My hope is that we will see the return of the ‘artisan’ – where hand-made goods will again become highly desirable. Automation could give us time to be creative, to look inside and take the time to do the things we really want to do. To focus on professions that are more aligned with our passions, enabling us to concentrate on our own personal evolution rather than just trying to earn a buck.

The focus needs to return to what it is that makes each of us unique. We need to re-invest in human capital and treat people as our most valuable resource. This involves retraining and re-educating people for the types of jobs that are likely to exist in the future. Jobs with a customer focus that aim to put a human face to the work that will be done by automatons. It may sound a little ‘pie-in-the-sky’, but this could be the case in an ideal world.

At the end of the day, we can all contribute in some way, we just need to plan for the future and be ready to accept opportunity when it arises. Then again, I have been called an idealist before.

How do you feel about the future of automation? Do you fear ‘the machines’? Or do you see automation as an opportunity to be embraced? Are you worried that there will be no suitable jobs for you in the future? Or are you willing to retrain and learn the necessary skills that will complement this new technology?


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    18th Jun 2015
    What a load of rubbish. I have been in various banks lately. The most obvious problem, was. Since technology has taken over, it now takes longer now to do a transaction than it did when all bank accounts were either passbooks or cheque books. Plus a company I worked for. Which was a leader in computerisation. Increased its workforce to handle the increase in production. When I started the company only had 250 people in its workforce. The breakdown, was 200 production workers and 50 non production. After computers were installed the non production workers increased to 250 and the production ones to 350.

    It doesn't follow that machines lower the participation of workers.
    18th Jun 2015
    Not sure what you're trying to say Ruby. But as I am a recently retired Banker let me tell you a few facts. The branch where I was manager, and had 9 staff members, now has 4. This reduction in staff numbers is across the board in most branches. ATMs are taking on more and more branch roles, for example the ATMS at most Banks now have the ability to receive Cash and Cheque payments. As we head towards a cash free society most branch, customer facing roles will disappear. On line banking has also taking customers away from branches. You can now do just about everything from the comfort of your home. This includes Investments, Insurance, Home loans, personal loans, credit cards, Interest bearing deposits and day to day banking. It stands to reason that eventually, in the near future, there will be very little for humans to do . At one time I thought technology and the human workforce could work hand in hand, now I believe that the human workforce has peaked and in the future will go into decline. This begs the question as asked in the post above. How will humans earn the money to pay for the goods companies produce? I can see the day coming within next 20 years where companies will 'cut their own throats' by resorting to advanced technology. Lets not also forget that science is rapidly developing 3D printing. It's only a matter of time before this is mastered as well. What hope is there for the future? Lot's if you are a machine. I was going to say or have a scientific brain, then I remembered that we are on the cusp of developing Quantum Computers.
    18th Jun 2015
    If I'm still here by 2025 then the automation of jobs will not matter one job to me.

    18th Jun 2015
    The monetary system is no longer viable to sustain the human population. We have to change our focus toward a resource based system to survive.
    18th Jun 2015
    18th Jun 2015
    Increase our knowledge of all things and include technologies. Develop those assets that we have as a country and increase our rural product sales overseas. We are a country rich in resources to produce food for the masses. Protect our borders to ensure that we do not overpopulate but maintain a level of population growth that our great country can handle without a stress on those who live here. Look at Europe and the problems they now have with movement being regulated ie. between Italy and France - France and Britain and now Hungary is building a fence along it's border with Serbia. Surely we have the same rights.
    18th Jun 2015
    I don't think preparing to retire would apply to many commenting on this site, I could be wrong but from previous comments I get the impression we have all moved on from that, new cuts to the pension, flagged by the government, may be more appropriate.
    18th Jun 2015
    Why do people keep saying that the government is extending the retirement age to 70? This is not the case as there are anti-age discrimination laws. The aged pension age may be raised to 70 but there are other unemployment benefits that can help those who have not put enough away during their working life. I do not expect to ever get an age pension. Superannuation and not living a wasteful life has helped me to retire at 58.
    Ageing but not getting old
    18th Jun 2015
    Unemployment Benefits are well below Pension payments, and lots of people know how difficult it can be having a decent life on that! If UE benefits remain at roughly the same as they are today, you better hope you have some other source of income to rely on - let alone the difficulty you may still have getting someone to hire you.
    [email protected]
    18th Jun 2015
    Increases in 'efficiency' make sense in expanding markets. In stable or contracting markets any increases in efficiency -as from labour saving devices or robotics- can only result in higher levels of human unemployment -unless other outlets can be found.
    We have 2 possible areas for expansion: Space, or the oceans. Seasteads are cheapest.
    18th Jun 2015
    Although my last two jobs were admin, I don't have any tertiary skills to enable me to get a similar job. Although I have "retired", there's just not enough of my husband's super to live on.So, no skills, probably too old for most employers, what can I do to earn money? I am now a lollypop lady -so is my husband!- still not quite enough to make ends meet.
    18th Jun 2015
    Well done you are having a go and deserve to have a good retirement.
    Polly Esther
    18th Jun 2015
    Ah yes, 'the machines', 'I Robot', 'Tony Abbott', LOL
    18th Jun 2015
    Yes well... back in the day when computers ceased to be housed in a security controlled shed and were suddenly on everyone's desk, we were 'promised' it would lead to the paperless office, reduced working hours and increased leisure time.

    Look how well that worked out!

    Dentists and nurses replaced by machines in 10 years? I don't think so. On the other hand, it may be worth digging out that old family jam recipe, or that pattern for a layette. We could be in demand..... we have the skills, the experience and the capacity to work to 70!
    18th Jun 2015
    Firstly, the internet as we know it now will need to have a revamp to make it much more secure, as these automated system will have some connection to the internet. Can you imagine in the future if a country wants to wage war with you, all they need to do is crash your internet and your stuffed.
    However this automation is going to happen, and is happening now with supermarkets and large retails stores and their self check-outs, major warehouses now have automated systems in place for stock in and out.
    The focus needs to be on training for higher skills in the maintenance and programming of these systems.
    This is an opportunity for Australia to become competitive again in many fields of manufacturing. Quality products have always been Australian made, and through a bit of clever "outside the box" thinking we can again capture a market share. We are in a geographic position here to capture the Asian market as they become richer, and believe it or not they want to buy quality products. All of this will not have a great impact on us "Old Dudes", however anyone younger than 45 should reconsider their abilities and retrain in some tech related field.
    Once the internet can be shored up, it will be open slather folks.
    18th Jun 2015
    I think the point is for the younger ones, not us. Tell them to gain some skills which will be of some use in the workforce in the future. Don't leave school having achieved nothing of use. Its a long road from leaving school to reaching retirement age - 70+

    18th Jun 2015
    many moons ago, in the darkness of times past (1983) while doing a computer programming course, we had to do an obligatory look at employment/unemployment trends....I came up with the then radical line of thought that permanent unemployment would be with us until The Fall.. and since as a society we were deliberately heading that way - there was a need THEN to cater for permanent high unemployment.

    My solution was that people who are permanently unemployed should be viewed as working and receive a livable income, since there was no possibiity of work, and should be vetted and pass an interview....

    Very radical - anyway - the idea was that since our society what pitching people out of work via technology etc, it had the responsibility to take care of them using the (ho, ho) extra leisure time etc - by either findingthem work or paying them not to work.
    18th Jun 2015
    Nursing?? How can a machine give the psychological care a nurse can - the reassurance, the friendly touch? And how can you know whether to trust a machine - it doesn't have the experience.
    Aside from human-based jobs where people need to see each other, if automation is the way of the future then best do courses in how to fix the machines when they go wrong, as they inevitably will.
    18th Jun 2015
    When teaching high school back in the 80's, I was always concerned that the constant emphasis was on preparing kids for employment. This was always troubling to me, because I knew that most of the kids I was teaching would find employment difficult or impossible, simple because the jobs weren't there. This is still an ongoing problem that gets worse and worse because the number of employment places versus the number of job seekers has continued to widen. I always felt the approach of education should be more towards preparation for life skills, rather than preparation for specific vocations. I believed and still believe that we should be opening doors for young people to discover what personal skills they have, so that they could investigate self employment as an option. We should be teaching kids to exploit their own talents and not rely on others to create jobs for them. Young people want to contribute and once that is removed from them, they become lost with all its inherent repercussions. With the advent of advances in technology, young people need to use that techology to create their own way in the world and we, as adults, should be showing them the way. We are failing in that exercise for so many of our youth.
    18th Jun 2015
    Nursing. Consider the machine that gives the exactly right level of medication when you need it no mistakes by an exhausted nurse. Probably will continuely monitor you vitals and call the doctor when the next heart attack is due and advise how much medication to give. The doctor from the golf course ticks the the box and the machine dispenses the medication. Oh and the nurse will have time to say hello.
    18th Jun 2015
    Garbage-someone needs to drag fat arse smoking Joe out of parliament for a couple of months working on a vegetable farm or as a railway fettler working continuously in the rain or scorching heat & then tell us truthfully if he can continue working until the age of 70 -politicians live I a cocoon, scheming up thought bubbles on how to rip off all the average tax payer.
    Chris B T
    19th Jun 2015
    Automation, Robots,Computers or any other replacement of Human Work has a cost base to it which is cheaper or more practical. Retun on Investment.
    Car industry was partly automated but needed to sell a million units per year.
    ATM's are not without major problems (for one major problem your back to the street)
    There will be a blend of Technology and Human in the workplace.
    Then there is labour costs in Different Countries how they are exploited by Technolgical Companies (No Sqruples, Just Profits)
    Some Asian Countries it is cheaper to have Humans to hand slash then pay for fuel for lawns.(Basic function we use fuel in lawn mowers).
    Need a true balance of need and function.
    fish head
    19th Jun 2015
    I've been hearing this story since computers were first released as well as robot gadgets. It's tired. So far, we seem to have stayed ahead of the pesky things and my view is that we always will. People get rat cunning when their livelihood is threatened. LONG SIGH. . .

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