Budget 2018. Takeaways for skills gap learning

Whilst robots pick up tasks and entire jobs once carried out by people, automation places the need for more emphasis on the skills and abilities that remain, for now, the exclusive role of humans. The ability to think critically, adapt to change and communicate effectively in a variety of situations is humanistic and ours to own.

The government plans to boost Australia's artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities with $29.9 million in funding across the next four years. Most of the funding will be focused on digital health, digital agriculture, energy, mining and cybersecurity.

The government is also addressing the growing skills gap. AI and machine learning-focused learning will enter senior years schooling and be offered as PhD scholarships.

2018 Budget funds will also go to develop an 'AI Ethics Framework' and a standards framework to "identify global opportunities and guide future investments."

According to LinkedIn Learning’s survey of 4,000 professionals, the most important skills employees will need, and that learning organisations must develop, are learning, leadership, communication and collaboration. Driven by the digital technology transforming many industries, now some 80% of CEOs and HR leaders expect it to fundamentally change how they manage and evolve their businesses.

Over the last 10 years there has been a rapid surge of data processing power.  Take that along with intuitive cloud based technologies that have led us to our primarily digital world of today and it’s no wonder we have a huge workforce skills gap challenge on our hands.

McKinsey reports that only 40% of surveyed executives are confident that they have the resources and current skills in their workforce to execute their digital transformation strategy.  Technical skill gaps will need to be filled if companies are to embrace digital, along with soft skills development to drive an adequate level of change and transformation.