Impact of generative AI on skills in the workplace
REPORT

Impact of generative AI on skills in the workplace

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20.02.2024 - 02:25

Generative AITechnology

Research by Mandala Partners in partnership with the Future Skills Organisation examines the impact of generative AI on finance, technology and business occupations, and the ramifications this will have on the training system in Australia. Industry estimates of the impact of generative AI in Australia range from between $45 billion to $115 billion by 2030. With Australia projected to have a 370,000 digital worker shortfall by 2026, according to the Growing Australia’s Digital Workforce report, these findings will be crucial in considering how to tailor the training system to meet demand.

The occupations with the highest required skill level are more likely to change as generative AI systems are implemented.

The primary impact on the training system will be at the university level as occupations that generally require university qualifications typically have greater exposure to generative AI. Within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system, higher level qualifications are also more likely to face disruption.

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“To determine the impact on Australia’s training system, and in particular VET, we mapped estimates of the impact on the human abilities that form the fundamental building blocks of tasks, skills and occupations. This allowed us to estimate the impacts at the occupation, qualification and unit of competency level.”

– Director Tom McMahon, recounting the methodology of the research.

In the Financial Services training package, the greatest exposure to generative AI is in qualifications preparing people for roles in accounting and clerking for financial services firms. In the Business Services training package, the greatest exposure is seen in administration and call centre roles. In the ICT training package, the greatest exposure is seen in software development and programming roles.

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Generative AI will affect the tasks that we perform in different ways: some automated, many augmented, and others adapted.

Tasks that AI systems can manage entirely on their own will be automated, increasing efficiency and eliminating routine effort.

Tasks will be augmented where there is a synergy where AI enhances human abilities, allowing for collaborative work that harnesses the strengths of both AI and human judgment. Evidence of this impact is already evident in tasks associated with writing, translation, research and software development.

Specific tasks adapt to incorporate AI-driven insights or actions, requiring humans to interpret, validate, or combine these outputs. Evidence of this can be seen in tasks such as classification and editing AI generated text.

With Australia projected to have a 370,000 digital worker shortfall by 2026, according to the Growing Australia’s Digital Workforce report, these findings will be crucial in considering how to tailor the training system to meet demand.

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Read the full report on the Future Skills Organisation website.

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