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Embracing AI: Unlocking opportunities for Australia’s economy

As the Australian workforce braces itself for the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, individuals must adapt by acquiring new skills.

By doing so, Australians can secure better-paying jobs and embark on more fulfilling career paths, while also leading to increased efficiency and competitiveness for the country that has recently seen record declines in productivity. 

Recent research from Pearson commissioned by ServiceNow, points to major changes in the workforce – in Australia and around the world – due to the implementation of AI and other technologies. Investing in upskilling and reskilling initiatives will give individuals greater control of their careers while also enabling businesses to tap into a more skilled talent pool, fostering innovation and growth across industries.

Tech-tonic shifts

To unlock the potential of AI and automation, businesses, governments, and individuals must understand the future shifts in the job market and plan accordingly. By taking on repetitive tasks, AI frees up time for more creative, strategic and stimulating work. This not only boosts productivity but can also enhance job satisfaction and employee engagement.

AI advances will enable non-technical individuals to accomplish more with technology. Innovations like “text-to-code” will use Generative AI to help anyone to create new applications with simple text inputs. This expansion of accessibility will open new avenues of innovation and entrepreneurship, fuelling growth: Pearson’s study identifies nearly AUD$92 billion in productivity gains and costs savings that AI could deliver in Australia by 2027.

Australia’s AI transformation

As workforce automation continues to advance, companies must consider the following three themes identified in the research to prepare their workforce:

1. Augment roles with AI 

AI will be integrated into existing job functions to perform specific tasks, allowing employees to focus on higher-value and more strategic work. Pearson’s research found AI will take on more than 30% of tasks for certain jobs, ‘augmenting’ – or increasing the efficiency of roles to boost productivity – 6.6% of Australia jobs (885.2k). Organisations will need to understand what tasks are best suited to AI and how people can use their increased time and capacity for more high-impact work. 

2. Automatable Roles

The most automatable roles, including Bank Workers (45.8% of roles set to be automated by 2027), Bookkeepers (38.2%), Accounts Clerks (37.5%), Checkout Operators (36.9%), and Finance Brokers (36.8%). These jobs face a unique challenge as manual and repetitive tasks are central to their traditional responsibilities, which AI and automation tools can do more efficiently. This presents a significant opportunity for upskilling and reskilling. Leaders embracing AI must start planning for updated job descriptions and team structures, as new jobs emerge. Currently, Australia’s National Skills Commission shows there are 286 occupations facing skills shortages, nearly double the figure in 2021. Redeploying individuals in automatable roles with the right training and support can help close this gap, reduces skills shortages, and boost productivity.  

3. AI-powers talent transformation solution

To capture growth opportunities, organisations should establish new skilling frameworks and training. The priority is identifying the biggest shifts and investing in tailored training pathways to help people reskill. For employees, it’s essential they learn how to use AI tools to make themselves more competitive. With 369,000 new technology jobs required in Australia to meet the demand for AI and other technologies by 2027, schemes like ServiceNow’s RiseUp initiative will help fuel an economy of in-demand, job-ready talent to help power the automation revolution.

Taking Control of Career Paths

In this rapidly evolving workplace, individuals need to proactively shape their career paths. Here are three key steps to help people take control of their careers.

1. Engage with Employers: Initiate a conversation with employers to understand existing employee growth and development programs. By actively participating in these, individuals can acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in an AI-powered economy.

2. Identify in demand skills: While technical skills remain important, human skills are the most sought-after by employers in Australia, the UK, US, and Canada, according to the Pearson Power Skills report. Communication skills are the most in-demand, while customer service, leadership, attention to detail and collaboration make up the top five. Individuals should find way to build these skills to remain relevant. 

3. Embrace New Opportunities: While some jobs may face the risk of automation, the rise of AI will also create new opportunities. Embracing technological advancements and upskilling can position individuals for these emerging roles. By staying curious and adaptable, and up to date with the latest AI technologies, people can position themselves for success.

AI will play a pivotal role in reshaping Australia’s employment landscape and enhancing economic impact. Individuals must understand these shifts, plan, and actively pursue skill development. At the same time, businesses must support and upskill workers during this transformative transition. 

By harnessing AI’s potential, organisations and individuals can unlock economic growth, maximise productivity, and shape a future where humans and machines work together for maximum impact. 

To find out more about how AI will transform our lives and work, visit ServiceNow’s Australian AI hub, or book in a demo for ServiceNow Generative AI capabilities

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Eric Swift

Eric Swift

Eric Swift joined ServiceNow in April 2021 as vice president and managing director for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). He's responsible for leading the digital workflow company into its next phase of growth. Eric joined ServiceNow from Microsoft, where he served in many leadership roles over the last 20 years.

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