Automation to transform manufacturing employment landscape by 2034

Over 60 per cent of Australia’s manufacturing jobs will potentially be impacted by automation technologies over the next 15 years, according to a new report.

Thirty per cent of existing manufacturing jobs will be totally automated and 33 per cent of jobs in the sector will be augmented by technological change by 2034, according to the report from the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the professional association for the nation’s technology sector, and Faethm, a software as a service artificial intelligence platform

The report, Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce, also indicates that automation technology could add an additional 122,000 jobs to the manufacturing industry by 2034. Fifty-five per cent of those jobs are expected to be technical roles, including an expansion in the number of software developers, data engineers, data integrators and analysts, and robotics engineers among others.

Across all industries, 1.4 million of the 5.6 million new jobs generated in the economy over the next 15 years will be directly tech related. The ACS has called for a large-scale, cross-policy approach to be adopted by government to ease the impact on the workforce and address any resulting skills shortages.

“In addition to occupations and skills requirement forecasts, we also wanted to explore the degree to which imbalances might exist between the adaptability and future-readiness of workers across industries,” said ACS CEO Andrew Johnson.

“The outcomes tabled in our Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce report provide deep insights for businesses to inform future workforce development plans, as well as for policy makers to maximise the participation rate of all citizens in the opportunities afforded by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Faethm’s predictions were based on Australian Census data with employment classifications mapped to the company’s job taxonomy of over 1,500 job families to enable like-for-like comparison of the nation’s workforce data.

The 1,511 job families defined in Faethm’s modelling cover 244 attributes such as abilities, knowledge, skills matched with human abilities defined by over 20,000 job tasks to create a matrix measuring each industry’s exposure to automation.