Australians hungry for skills upgrade in age of automation

by Adelle Chua19 Oct 2017
Ninety percent of Australians acknowledge that they need to regularly refresh their competencies, a recent survey found, and 70 percent feel that they have yet to receive adequate training to stay up to date.

A staggering 92 percent of respondents said the responsibility lies with them to keep their skills and competencies up to date.

Older Australians know they are most in need of reskilling, with 76 percent of those aged 45 and over seeking  job-related skills – a much-higher proportion than younger age groups, according to the latest Workmonitor survey from recruitment specialist Randstad Australia.

The search for new or upgraded skills goes down with younger workers. Seventy-two percent of 35-44 year olds say they need reskilling; 59 percent of 25-34 year-olds say the same.

Among 18-24 year-olds, only 48 percent believe they need new or stronger job-related skills.

“Over the next 10 to 15 years, 40 per cent of jobs are expected to be replaced by automation. It’s imperative for Australian workers to recognise this and grasp the opportunity by adapting their skills as industries evolve,” Frank Ribuot, CEO of Randstad Australia.

“The need to develop and maintain new skills has never been stronger.”

Alison Monroe, National Director at Sageco, Australia and New Zealand, said: “Someone later in their career may want to consider a completely new path and apply their well-honed personal and professional skills to a new industry or role. They have the will, but not necessarily the vocational skill yet – and therefore might need training.”

“Automation, combined with workers living longer and healthier lives, means that vocational, skills-based training is still in high demand for people late in their career.”

Ribout said that “there is a training gap between what workers want and what employers are providing. This is a huge opportunity for companies to take the lead in upskilling their workforce, who are at the ready to learn new competencies, to deliver stronger business results,” he said.

Other key findings from the survey are:
● 94 percent of respondents consider lifelong learning, regardless of age, essential
● 34 percent say they need career advice from a specialist
● Training/educational activities undertaken by respondents in the last 12 months for upskill were:
○ Attending a workshop, seminar or conference (44 per cent)
○ Studying, attending training or education (32 per cent)
○ Completing an online course (29 per cent)
○ Participating in personal coaching (9 per cent)

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