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Developing the workforce for a digital future: Addressing critical issues and planning for action

This report from the Australian Industry Group looks at what businesses need to do to prepare for the challenges of digital transformation. It includes advice for businesses planning for the future such as regular upskilling of their workforce to adapt to requirements of the digital economy and investment in research and development. Work practices also need review as automation transforms entire business processes. The report also argues that Australia’s education and training system will need to build its capacity to meet the challenge of digital change., The report makes the following recommendations for education and training institutions: (1) school systems need a significant focus on providing digital and ICT literacy skills as all future workers will require these; (2) the VET sector needs to focus on higher level skills for enterprise systems and analytics, security and digital innovation; (3) education and training systems need to improve basic and advanced skills in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and with a new emphasis on the enterprise skills of creativity, complex problem solving and critical thinking; (4) there needs to be a renewed emphasis by education and training systems and companies on management development and workplace innovation, to drive companies through constant change; (5) companies and workers need to be provided with greater opportunities for new skilling whenever required as a result of constant new technologies and change; this includes the development of micro-credentials and lifelong learning initiatives; and (6) closer links between companies and the school, VET and university sectors are needed to benefit the business sector and the community through greater work readiness, access to new ideas and refreshing organisational culture.