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Pay attention to automation VTA

Transport operators should plan to do businesses in different ways, VTA says


Legislators, regulators and industry leaders must pay attention to the impacts of automation and other forces on Australia’s transport industry, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) says.

VTA CEO Peter Anderson made the comments alongside the launch of a new report by economists Jim Stanford and Matt Grudnoff of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work.

Anderson says the report, The Future of Transportation Work: Technology, Work Organisation, and the Quality of Jobs, underscores how important it is for operators to structure their businesses to adjust for change into the future.

“Transport is an industry that faces significant and ongoing disruption from legislative and regulatory changes, technical innovation and other external forces,” he says.

The report found that automation and other disruptions, such as the rise of an economy where temporary, contracted positions are common, could infringe on the industry’s ability to provide quality jobs into the future.

Anderson says this reinforces the need for operators to plan ahead to use new technologies and employ different ways of doing business, which he says is critical for their future prosperity.

“It also highlights why training and continuing professional education is so essential for operators to continue to attract and retain people to work in the transport industry as a long-term career,” he says.

“This validates the VTA’s investment in facilitating new training programs as a way of helping members to keep their workforce educated, which is necessary for any profession.”

Click here to read more about the report’s recommendations.

Time to do your homework

The VTA’s comments about training intersect well with a recent submission by online recruiter Seek to a Senate inquiry into the future of work.

In the submission, released in January, Seek says that despite the growth of computer technology throughout Australian businesses, IT undergraduate enrolments have declined by 38 per cent over the past 15 years.

“Businesses cannot afford to simply rely on the workforce the education sector is producing; it must be more involved in training and developing its employees’ skills,” the submission says.

Specifically, the rise of automation will see the creation of more highly-skilled, highly-paid roles for creatives, developers, scientists and makers of machines – and will create pressure on medium-skilled jobs that are mostly process driven.

“If we do not prepare our workforce of today and the future for the realities of a digital age, we face a dire situation of a population of undesirable workers… We have social structures and policies that are not made to support a new high velocity, low skill labour force,” the submission says.


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