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ANZ WARNS THAT AUSTRALIA MIGHT FACE A LABOUR SHORTAGE BY 2030

20-06-2016
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A new report from ANZ has issued a warning on lack of skilled labour across Australia by 2030, thanks to the shift from a predominantly mining economy, to a service one, and the increased ageing population.

The report titled “Serving Australia’s Future” said that it expected Australia’s exports to shift to health, education, tourism, and professional service industries by 2030, a time where almost 20% of the Australian population will be older than 65.  

"The technology argument hasn't considered 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."

The health, education and professional services are expected to gain a projected growth of 6% per year to 2030.

The ANZ report also estimated a demand for labour would increase at a rate of 1.6% per year over the next 15 years.

With the increase in these growth sectors demanding higher levels of education, ANZ has also mentioned the challenge of funding tertiary education.

"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.

The report continued to say that a growing service sector could change the general distribution of wealth, as the demand of labour in services and a decrease of industries such as mining would support "a recovery in the labour share of income". This in turn would then lead to a "fairer society and less wasted potential".

Mining investments would be redirected to fund development of services such as computer software and research.

"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."

As a result of the report, professional services firm 10,000 Hours said career paths were not as linear and simple as they once were.

"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," said co-founder Marcus Crow in a statement.

"This translates to continuously up-skilling and learning transferrable skills which can be used in a number of roles, sectors and markets."

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