The Pre-Covid (2018) thoughts on Australia's Transition Challenge to 2030


I thought it might be interesting to reflect on what I wrote in 2018 on how Australia was transitioning to 2030 -- which was BEFORE COVID. Hmmm. . .





2018 Building Australia's Future Today
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2018 Katharine McLennan on Australia's T
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SUMMARY OF ARTICLE -- WRITTEN IN 2018

I have written on reflections on the automation challenges, the recent Telstra and NAB redundancies . . . . and the announcement by government of the plans for "Australia 2030." We are in for some mighty interesting times, Australia, and it is high time we started collaborating among Government, Corporates, Universities and the Small/Medium Businesses/Organisations. The free market may not just figure it out in time.


It is 2018. Australia, and the rest of the world, are at a critical crossroads.

  • On the one hand, we have arrived at a level of productivity seen by the extraordinary promise that automation and artificial intelligence that should allow us to reduce significant amount of costs across our traditional industries. 

  • On the other hand, the temporary spikes in unemployment that this restructuring will cause could cause significant unrest and destabilisation that may backfire on any gain in productivity UNLESS . . .

      . . . we can work together across companies, start-ups, government, universities and training bodies to ensure that this group of unemployed people arising can be retrained and employed in the new businesses that Australia believes will thrive in its “Australia 2030 Plan.” We must help these new business arising like never before with access to capital, labour, skills and markets – like every other country is doing.  


In addition, Australian businesses must actually accelerate even further in their use of automation to keep up with competition overseas. This opportunity to “get it right” could be worth as much as an additional $2.2 trillion to our economy over the next 12 years (See alpha beta, 2017).


The attached paper I have written is designed to act as a start of a conversation to stimulate action, collaboration, planning and eventually the establishment of a solution to a tidal wave of what we hope is temporary unemployment that has already begun. With the announcements of NAB’s 6000 job cuts in November of 2017 and Telstra’s 8000 job cuts in June 2018, Australia has already begun what McKinsey has predicted will be between 75 to 357 million, or 14% of the global workforce needing to switch their occupational categories due to the impact of automation (McKinsey, 2017). The formidable analysis of alpha beta predicts for Australia that this number could be 3.5 million displaced workers at high risk between now and 2030 (alpha beta, 2017).  (See references in paper)


In the article I cover:

1) Why the time is now -- how we have entered the Imagination Age and how the whole world is now going to fill the impact of the major structural changes we have witnessed in Telstra and NAB leading the way


2) What we will need to do with the high-risk workers who will lose their jobs due to automation making the corporations more efficient, the low-risk workers remaining and the future workers entering the economy


3) What the U.S. and other countries is indeed already doing, which may surprise you to find that it doesn't always include university and it certainly does not look leave things to the capitalists' free market


4) The start of an idea for an Australian Career Transition Academy -- perhaps one that could be led by our Banks, our Government, and our Universities . . . . to lead us towards 2030.


A massive conversation and collaboration is required. Now -- in Labour, Skill, Capital and Markets. We do not have time to wait for the markets to self-correct. It is time to move.

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