Article:

Six future ready trends for Queensland’s workforce

28 November 2018

Recently BDO’s Human Capital team attended and contributed in the Queensland Government’s Future of Work - Skills and Industry Summit in November. This invitation only forum discussed upcoming needs of Queensland’s workforce, the emerging trends in the labour market and the shift to a knowledge-based economy. A number of challenges and opportunities for industry, government, and universities of future workforce skills were identified. Here are our six observations and predications that could shape a future ready workforce in Queensland.

Diverse models of Learning & Development

Alternative training and development modes is an important consideration. Traditional vocational models of education are going through disruption but perhaps not at the pace to stay ahead of industry demands. Methods of acquiring degrees will change - the new model will be ‘credentialing’ or acknowledging capability acquisition. Online methods will predominate and arguably replace vocational education traditional methods.

Workplace capability is key

We need to consider shifting methods of funding from qualifications funding frameworks towards frameworks which focus on capability building. Governments and educational institutions will need to consider and adapt to the new paradigms. Industry will have an important part to play and respectful triage of these groups will hopefully lead to further enhanced educational transformation.

Innovative workforce planning methods

A possible approach might be to start by identifying emerging capabilities and future capabilities and then to design innovative methods to develop and acquire these capabilities. One thing is certain is that this will not be via traditional vocational methods.

Mapping future skills to retain talent

We also need to consider retraining rather than retrenching of workers. Mapping capabilities and considering utility of these across functional work groups would be a start. Bridging courses aimed at augmenting baseline capabilities can and have been used in some sectors. Organisations need to consider the use of capability brokerage teams - to help facilitate capability movements across different work groups. This may be automated whereby employees may bid for work online where project teams are gathered and disbanded easily using technology as an enabler.

Flexibility for the regions

Rural and remote communities require more flexible delivery models to be able to build and retain skills in a more sustainable way. Technology is an avenue to fast track development, but there are a number of challenges that that need to be overcome - these include connectivity and the scale of economic activity in such communities.

Collaborate and be workforce ready

Finally, there was acknowledgement for the need for social cohesion as we embark on this journey. Arguably, the biggest challenge we face is how to ensure that sections of our society do not fall too far behind the rest. If too many people get left behind, we collectively won’t get to enjoy the benefits of our success.

Now is the time to prepare and plan for the jobs of the future. Make sure you’re making the right decisions when it comes to your future workforce. Don’t leave your workforce planning to guess work. Get in touch with one of our expert advisers to help make the right decisions based on accurate information and tailored insights.