Media Release: Future Skilling Australia’s Workforce

Stakeholders from industry, training and education providers, students and Government leaders are coming together at Industry Skills Forums around the country to discuss future skilling the workforce. With digital transformation and new technologies rapidly changing the employment landscape and the skills required for work, businesses and education providers are seeking ways to ensure workers are prepared for change.

Hosted by prominent journalist and author Kerry O’Brien, the free forums involve industry leaders in Q&A panel discussions about future skilling in an age of digital transformation and new thinking about jobs and careers.

The forums are being conducted by Australian Industry Standards across the country until 13 November.
Over 1200 people have already registered their attendance at the forums, where they will have the opportunity to talk about the skills shortages and workforce challenges facing their industry.

Technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, and Big Data have already created a significant overhaul in job descriptions and functions. Many people are working at jobs that did not exist even five years ago. Similarly, many more jobs will be created in the next five to ten years which require different skills sets. With 40% of jobs affected by digital transformation, upskilling or reskilling the current and future workforce is an absolute necessity.

The ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements, job content, and changing labour markets and recruitment patterns is increasingly critical for businesses, governments and individuals. Businesses will need to put workforce planning, training and talent management front and centre of their growth.

Following the panel discussions at each forum there will be industry-specific break-out sessions focused on emerging skill needs and the barriers and opportunities to recruiting skilled employees. Participants will discuss higher-order skills for the workplace (such as management capability); cyber security; regulatory frameworks; environmental sustainability; and workforce profile and staff retention issues (including an ageing workforce and cross sector competition for staff).

AIS is a Service Skills Organisation that supports Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) in developing qualifications and skills standards for the aviation, transport and logistics, maritime, energy, water and utilities, public safety, police, Defence and corrections industries. Collectively these industries cover more than 1.3 million workers or almost 10% of the Australian workforce. More significantly, these workers add $174 billion to the Australian economy – or 11% of GDP.

AIS will draw on information gathered at the skills forums to influence policy on skills and workforce development. This is presented to the Federal Government in key documents called Industry Skills Forecasts.

For more information and to register for these free events go to

You can follow the conversation online by using #futureskilling.


MC Kerry O’Brien leads discussions on future skilling in an age of digital disruption with Q&A panellists at the AIS Industry Skills Forum in Brisbane.


Brett Robinson

Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager