4.6 million jobs “at risk” without future-ready workforce


news According to StartupAUS, an advocacy group for startups, up to 4.6 million Australian jobs may be at risk within a decade if Australia fails to create a future-ready workforce.

The group raised the issue in a discussion paper, titled Economy in Transition – Startups, innovation and a workforce for the future, released yesterday.

The paper, which was produced in partnership with Sydney-based startups Expert360 and CodeCamp, as well as LinkedIn, suggests that most jobs face some threat from the arrival of technological advancements such as automation, however startups and tech firms will generate “forward-looking” jobs based on new technologies.

StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley said that, for every job in “high-growth” tech companies, up to five “tangential jobs” are created.

“The paper highlights the extensive economic benefits of building innovation hubs which have powerful multiplier effects. There’s a lot at stake here – if we get it right, we’ll be able to capitalise on it,” McCauley said.

The paper’s findings reveal the “very real need” for Australia to maintain its momentum on innovation and startup policy, he said.

“We have two new portfolio Ministers who will be getting across these issues very rapidly and in a very focused way. This paper highlights the need for that urgency and focus,” said McCauley.

According to StartupAUS, LinkedIn data included in the discussion paper suggests that 16 of the 20 most “in-demand” skills in Australia currently are technology related. Further, workers with a combination of entrepreneurial, STEM, creative, and social skills will be in increasingly high demand to support Australia’s growing innovation ecosystem.

Despite this need, Australia has a “profound talent shortage” within the STEM field, said the group.

To combat this, the paper outlines specialised immigration as a “crucial part” of brining vital skills into Australia’s workforce, as well as innovation hubs in major cities to help attract this international talent.

The paper’s author, Colin Pohl, said: “In the US, approximately 34% of the workforce is already made up of independent workers and we expect this to increase significantly and for a similar trend to be reflected here in Australia.”

“Many corporate jobs require specialised skills that are not required on a permanent basis, and infrastructure support for freelancers will facilitate an increasing number of workers operating across a portfolio of briefs based on their specialised talent,” said Pohl.

The discussion paper also shows new business models have created opportunities for independent workers, with studies showing a “substantial increase in contingent work” both internationally and in Australia, StartupAUS said.

The group said: “[B]y fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, nurturing a workforce with a forward-looking skill set, and establishing the infrastructure to support innovation we can be well-positioned to ensure the future of work in Australia is a bright one.”

Nick O’Donnell, APAC Head of Public Policy for LinkedIn, commented: “A crucial factor that will influence the strength and stability of the global economy will be governments’ willingness to set policy levers that encourage entrepreneurism, risk taking and innovation; in doing so allowing a vibrant start-up community to flourish.”

Some of the themes discussed in the paper will be included in the third annual StartupAUS Crossroads Report to be released in October 2016.


  1. According to StartupAUS, an advocacy group for startups, up to 4.6 million Australian jobs may be at risk within a decade if Australia fails to create a future-ready workforce.

    and how many are at risk because TurnCoat and his band of cronies have destroyed the NBN?

  2. The Howard Government sold out on ICT professionals almost twenty years ago. Thousands have fled the country or turned their hand to another occupation.

    The industry and the whores in Canberra flooded the country with 457 slave labour. But all those slaves where merely on a working holiday and by now they have left leaving the country with no ongoing intellectual capital. But they were cheap, and the accountants were happy.

    While they were bleating “skills shortage” an estimated 20,000 IT professionals had lost their jobs. Even high school students are smart enough to know the story and avoid ICT related University courses like the plague. A large percentage, who start such a course never complete it and swap to something else.

    The chickens have come home to roost.

  3. You can see this happening already, and it’ll only get worse as the AI’s get more advanced.

  4. By “Future Ready Workforce” they really mean, import people on work visas and outsource work to asia to undercut the economy…
    Welcome to Australia, land of race to the bottom.

  5. Throughout most of my career, my enormous talent has been left to rot on the trash heap, coz I’m too ugly, and now aussie companies have a new excuse to not hire me, I’m over 50. I keep getting rejection emails saying things like “your skills are awesome, but we wont hire you, good luck”. Aussie companies don’t want actual talent, they want fashion models, or cheap slaves.

  6. I get paid 98 bucks every hour for work at home on my laptop. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my good friend is earning 17k /monthly by doing this job and she showed me how. Try it out on following website….

  7. I get paid 98 bucks every hour for work at home on my laptop. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my good friend is earning 17k /monthly by doing this job and she showed me how. Try it out on following website….

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