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Looking Ahead: What To Expect For Australia’s Job Market In 2024

General Assembly
March 9, 2024
What To Expect For Australia’s Job Market In 2024

During Looking Ahead 2023, General Assembly brought together an exciting panel of industry experts to share their thoughts on the dynamic and ever-changing Australia job market.

As the traditional structures of the job market in Australia continue to transform, being able to not only understand these changes — but also adapt to them — is increasingly vital for both companies and employees in order to stay competitive. 

Moderated by Huon Latham, Senior Manager of Outcomes, APAC at General Assembly, the panel consisted of:

DEALING WITH JOB INSECURITY AND UNCERTAINTY

As the working landscape across Australia job market continues to shift and evolve, more and more people are increasingly concerned about potentially losing their jobs, particularly because of the rapid advancement of technology. The fear of being removed from the workplace due to tech like AI is a genuine concern, so how do we develop the right perspective — and skills — to stay relevant in an AI-fueled future?

A Shift In Perspective

“It’s important not to view any sector, I think, as declining but more as transitioning,” says Steeds. He gives the example of how although print media is declining, those working in that sector aren’t necessarily out of a job, but rather have adapted over to digital media where “the demand for content is as hot as ever.”

The idea is to shift your focus away from fears of obsolescence and instead look at how you can strategically navigate these tech transitions by improving your skill set and adapting your repertoire toward many different areas now offering new and exciting opportunities.

Fotheringham agrees, adding that it’s not only important to rescale and shift within one’s own professional domain, but to also “look at how that’s transferable across different industries or organisations.”

Will AI Replace Me?

The dynamic rise of artificial intelligence is one of the main reasons that many fear being replaced at work. A quick web search will return a variety of headlines telling you how AI is able to do your job and do it better. It’s no surprise that many people have started to treat AI as the villain amidst the digital changes in the workspace, viewing it as a threat rather than a tool. 

But rather than being resistant to these changes, Politis encourages us to embrace them and to “think about technology as enhancing” the work that we’re doing as opposed to replacing it. She mentions the importance of being agile and adopting a growth mindset, emphasizing that employees should keep up to date with technological trends and be proactive in their learning approach. 

“The worst thing that we can do in this kind of landscape is become complacent with our skill sets,” she adds. “Instead of just having one role, it’s about how we branch out our expertise and really add that string to our bow to differentiate us from the people sitting next to us.”

Simply put, if you remain digitally stagnant and don’t actively keep up, you’re more likely to be replaced by someone who’s AI-savvy — rather than by AI itself.

THE POWER OF TRANSFERABLE SKILLS IN AUSTRALIA’S JOB MARKET

While it’s essential to refine and upgrade your professional knowledge and expertise in the workspace, it’s also important to have a set of transferable skills that you carry with you both in and out of the office. These skills go beyond technical capabilities and are what provides you with the one thing that no tool or technology can replace — a human touch. 

Fotheringham affirms this, stating that human skills and relationship building are going to be more important than ever.

“Work is only going to become more complex and more disrupted, so being able to show up with that humanity and that ability to ask the right questions, solve problems, and navigate ambiguity…it doesn’t matter what area you’re working in, they’re going to be more and more critical as time goes on.” 

In addition to having useful transferable skills, it’s equally important to be able to showcase them. Politis summarises it best — “Being able to storytell and tell how you did something in one role and how those skills can be used to do something in another role is really important.”

REMOVING BARRIERS AT THE WORKPLACE

As the way we work in all industries and roles across Australia continues to evolve, we need to recognise that the working environment itself is undergoing a transformation. Think back to the pre-pandemic days when everyone had to be in the office five days a week. Fast forward to today and working from home has seamlessly integrated itself as the new normal. 

But beyond that,  many employees have also spoken out about personal challenges they’ve faced in the workplace, such as discrimination or bias. These issues are still prevalent across many industries, and workers are now advocating for change in order to make the professional environment better for everyone. 

Diversity & Inclusivity

According to Guandar, recognising the significance of diversity is crucial for companies, particularly in the face of a clear talent shortage

She says that “the last thing you want to do is limit yourself by not being wholly inclusive,” and reminds us that “the whole point of inclusion and diversity is to be able to look at it from all angles.” 

When it comes to implementing positive changes in diversity and inclusion, genuine care for employees is needed. As Fotheringham points out, people are turning to social media to share their stories and experiences, and companies have nowhere to hide anymore in this digital era. She notes it’s “a very overdue and much needed shift where this kind of performative approach to diversity and also well-being is going to be a thing of the past.”

Redefining Remote Work

When employees began returning to the workplace, one key question was how often they needed to physically be present in the office. A lot of emphasis was placed on balancing where employees spent their working hours, but Fotheringham views this as a misstep. 

She explains that rather than being fixated on the number of days people are in the office versus being at home, companies should instead pay attention to the moments that actually matter when it comes to gathering together, such as rallying around a new starter joining the team. 

It’s not merely about how much is needed, but about why it’s needed.

STAY READY FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK WITH TECH courses and talent solutions

Upgrade your tech and soft skills while future-proofing your repertoire to have the ability to face any changes and challenges confidently. Sign up for our FREE workshops and events and stay ahead of the curve. 

At GA, we offer a variety of Australian tech courses and training solutions to meet the always-evolving demands of Australia’s job market. Add new, in-demand skills to your workforce tool belt by exploring our employee skilling solutions.

To find out more about GA’s course offerings, get in touch with our Admissions team by contacting ausnz_admissions@generalassemb.ly.

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