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Is Australia suffering from an emerging skills gap?

17 Aug 15

Australia may be suffering from an emerging skills gap, according a new publication from Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, entitled Future proofing the profession: preparing business leaders and finance professionals for 2025.

Tim Fawcett, executive general manager of corporate affairs for CISCO Systems Australia and New Zealand, who contributed to the publication, says that of the companies on the Fortune 500 list today, only 24% existed 25 years ago.

Professor James Guthrie, head of academic relations, explains further, saying the impact of the digital economy is profound and is set for further impact in the near future.

“Skills, particularly STEM skills, will be required for jobs of the future - but enrolment in these subjects and courses has been in decline,” he says.

“This in conjunction with technology disruptions, the impact of regulation and the lack of these skills in current and future workforce are critical issues that the Australian and New Zealand governments need to deal with now.”

Guthrie believes workplaces are increasingly flexible, innovative and creative, and the appetite to embrace the digital economy is there.

“Businesses are expected to drive over 500% boost in digital jobs,” he says.

“Without the right skills there is a risk that Australia and New Zealand will not be part of the business of moving towards efficient and effective use of technology and adapting to disruptions unless needs are supported and met,” he warns.

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