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Wednesday, 10 July 2019 12:52

Australian, NZ workers fear for jobs due to digital transformation: report Featured

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Australian, NZ workers fear for jobs due to digital transformation: report Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australians and New Zealanders are facing increasing job uncertainty due to digital transformation, according to new report which reveals that employees are concerned technology will replace their roles in the near future.

According to the Mind the Gap report by eLearning vendor Skillsoft based on a survey of 1000 employees across Australia and New Zealand 46% of the employees fear significant parts of their role will be replaced by technology in the next 10 years.

And 70% of respondents to the survey feel their role is being changed due to digital transformation, while one fifth (19%) report their role is being digitally transformed.

The "Mind the Gap" report based on a Vanson Bourne survey of employees across Australia (855) and New Zealand (155) found that approximately 90% of respondents would like digital skills training to help manage this change.

Just over half (51%) of the employees said they would like Microsoft Office training, while many also feel that video-based microlearning (47%) and/or collaboration training (36%) would assist them.

However, only 27% of respondents whose roles are changing due to digital transformation feel completely supported by their organisation to meet the changing demands of their role.

Rosie Cairnes, regional director of APAC, Skillsoft, said, “Digital transformation is an opportunity for businesses to leverage technology to change and improve how they work. It’s very concerning that so few companies are investing in the people capabilities required to digitally transform their business. We are quite shocked by the level of unpreparedness among employees”.

“Providing learning, development and training, whether that be specific to digital transformation or not, makes employees feel valued and supported should change be required,” Cairnes said.

“Continuous, personalised, on-demand learning that addresses future job needs must become standard across businesses – large and small.”

Cairnes says businesses must actively support these at-risk employees to enable them to move into new roles through appropriate training and redeployment, or risk losing valuable talent, institutional knowledge and increased performance.

“Digital transformation and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) will replace many jobs in the future, but these and possibly more can be offset with new, skilled roles.

“Digitally transformed businesses will rely heavily on employees to implement, interpret, and manage data and technology.

“ANZ organisations can’t afford to lose quality staff. They must address digital transformation by investing in personalised career mobility plans and upskilling – particularly for at-risk roles. Organisations must also find new ways to use this people power to their advantage.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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