2GB with Warren Moore

  • Minister for Employment
  • Minister for Women
  • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
  • Senator for Western Australia

Subject/s: CSIRO report, discussing jobs of the future 

WARREN MOORE: The CSIRO  report, Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce— Megatrends and scenarios for jobs and employment in Australia over the next twenty years. And the report indicates hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created in aged cared and health care sectors.

The Minister joins us on the line right now, thanks for your time, Minister.

MINISTER CASH: Great to be with you.

WARREN MOORE: Well tell us what the point of this report is.

MINISTER CASH:  Well it's all about preparing for the future of work. What the Australian Government's done is partner with CSIRO, the Australian Computing Society, Boston Consulting Group and ANZ Bank and this is a report that looks at the changes in the workforce, in the labour market, in technology going forward and how we can better identify and anticipate where we need to be. This is an exciting report, it shows us that we should not be afraid of change and if we take steps now to prepare our workforce for the workforce of tomorrow, it's going to be a very exciting future for all Australians.

WARREN MOORE: And now obviously different sectors ebb and flow don't they? Some retract and some expand and you're saying health and aged care in particularly is where there'll be more jobs.

MINISTER CASH:    What the data looks at is in healthcare and social assistance. It's been the primary provider of new jobs in our labour markets almost since the 1990s but what the data now shows is that over the next five years, employment in healthcare and social assistance is projected to increase 258,000 jobs or 18.7 per cent. It's very exciting and it's not the only industry that's projected to increase. Education and training, construction, services industry, retail, accommodation and food. We've now identified where those increases are going to be and it's now about how do we prepare Australians for the jobs of the future.

WARREN MOORE: Yeah and there's also I guess in part of that planning and looking at making those sectors attractive for workers, if there's high demand obviously and that could be a demand that could be difficult to meet, yet in particular I know aged care is an area where the wages and conditions aren't terribly attractive compared to some other jobs, even compared to a hospital versus working in aged care.

MINISTER CASH:    It's looking at all of that and it's also in particular looking at how we can transition people out from the jobs of today into the jobs of tomorrow whilst at the same time preparing our young people. Here's a fascinating statistic: Approximately 75 per cent of where all the jobs are growing are going to require science, technology, engineering and maths to have been undertaken at school. So even just small things like that, that focus on STEM we now know is so important for future job seekers. We need to ensure we're making that huge investment in STEM to prepare our kids for the jobs of tomorrow.

WARREN MOORE:    tell you what, this report highlights what we already knew- the concept of a job for life has certainly changed because, you know, you're talking about a career of over 50 years so the ebb and flowing and the sectors growing and skills needed to be changed, it's quite dramatic isn't it?

MINISTER CASH:    It's fascinating but at the same time it is just so exciting and the one thing I say to Australians is this- don't be afraid. We've been there before! Look at 100 years ago when horses were basically utilised for all forms of transport and then all of the jobs that flowed from the industry. Then you have the advent of the car. That was embraced and look at what then happened. We didn't say we've got to keep using horses, we said hey let's diversify! Look at what manufacturing and automation can now do for us. So we've done it before, we've done it successfully and we can do it again. And very much the report that I launched today really does highlight the immense changes that are going to affect the way we all work over the coming decade but it also gives us that real blueprint as we go forward.

WARREN MOORE: So just generally speaking though, we are talking more about service jobs versus jobs in manufacturing and those sorts of things?

MINISTER CASH:    What is so interesting I think about the report is that we know that new industries and careers are going to emerge. We know that new skills are going to be required. We also know that work is definitely going to become more flexible and so with these new opportunities, Australian workers, we're going to have to be more agile; we're going to have to be more entrepreneurial. But I think what is exciting is we know where the growth is, for the healthcare and social assistance et cetera, construction, accommodation and food et cetera. But that there's also the unknown, there are jobs of tomorrow that we're not even thinking about today because we don't know what they'll be but we know they'll be there and that's really exciting.

WARREN MOORE: Okay so that's the report today. By the way just the realm of politics- I know or just heard in the last hour or so that Mal Brough is not standing at the next election, is that a surprise to you?

MINISTER CASH:    To be honest with you I have just launched this report and I haven't quite caught up with that news but certainly look it's a decision for Mal Brough and you'd need to ask Mal about why he made the decision.

WARREN MOORE: Okay thanks for your time, much appreciated.

MINISTER CASH:    Pleasure to be with you, good on you.

WARREN MOORE: Minister for Employment, Michaelia Cash and that report out today from the CSIRO about the future of employment in Australia.


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