Skills switch could leave labour lagging
ANZ has warned that Australia’s shift to a services economy could create a skilled labour shortage by 2030.
The bank has issued a report titled “Servicing Australia's Future”, in which it says Australia's export economy will shift to one based on the health, education, tourism and professional services industries by 2030.
At that time, close to 20 per cent of Australians will be older than 65, and while
The bank warns of the "implications of an economy shifting from producing goods to producing services, increased health spending to support an ageing population, and new services export opportunities in Asia,” acting ANZ chief economist Richard Yetsenga said in a statement.
“These forces will create substantial change in the Australian labour market.”
Health, education and professional services are expected to grow by 6 per cent per year to 2030.
The report forecasts labour demands will rise by 1.6 per cent per year over the next 15 years.
The ANZ says that because these growth sectors require high levels of education, there will be a big challenge in funding the tertiary education sector.
“As education demand grows, a major challenge will be tertiary funding. Securing private sector investment will be vital, with partnerships between business and universities more important than ever to ensure we develop a workforce fit for a services-driven economy,” Mr Yetsenga said.
ANZ says the growing services sector could change the distribution of wealth, if the decline in high-capital industries like mining creates “a recovery in the labour share of income”.
The analysts say that the end of currently-growing income inequality will lead to a “fairer society and less wasted potential”.
“There has been much discussion on how we reconcile strong GDP growth, weak investment and falling inflation with strong employment numbers,” Mr Yetsenga said.
“But in our view, the economy is adapting to a new set of drivers, where goods industries like mining are being overtaken by large employers of skilled labour.”
The economists say it would be wise for mining investments to be redirected to fund development of computer software, research, and other services-linked fields.
Professional services firm 10,000 Hours has issued a statement saying that stats show career paths will continue to be non-linear.
“What we can do is ensure Australia and its workforce are in the best position to capitalise on this shift and be prepared for any eventuality,” co-founder Marcus Crow said in the statement.
“This translates to continuously up-skilling and learning transferrable skills which can be used in a number of roles, sectors and markets.”