Your job may be automated by 2025

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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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Total Comments: 23
  1. 0

    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.

    • 0

      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.

  2. 0

    If I’m still here by 2025 then the automation of jobs will not matter one job to me.

  3. 0

    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.

  4. 0

    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.

  5. 0

    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.

  6. 0

    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.

    • 0

      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.

  7. 0

    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.

  8. 0

    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.

  9. 0

    Ah yes, ‘the machines’, ‘I Robot’, ‘Tony Abbott’, LOL

  10. 0

    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!

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