In this latest National VET Research discussion paper, the authors explore how emerging technological, economic and demographic changes will affect the Australian jobs market. Automation, the increasing shift to a service economy and an aging population are identified as three key factors that will shape which skills and attributes will be most desirable for employers. The authors argue that relevant technical and digital skills, as well as transferable skills will become increasingly important. Over the last three years, digital literacy, critical thinking and creativity have seen the largest increase in demand in Australian internet job postings. The authors feel that upskilling and reskilling workers will be necessary to help people adapt to new business and employment opportunities. The paper concludes that the role of vocational education and training should begin to encompass ‘soft skills’ that help assist in fostering continuous learning and development across the changing employment landscape.
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