NBN predicts three million new Australian jobs by 2030

According to a report commissioned by NBN, three million new jobs will be created or redefined within the next 15 years. It is a trend NBN expects to continue, following the three million jobs that have emerged since the year 2000.
Written by Asha Barbaschow on

Connectivity, entrepreneurialism, and a rising population will create three million new jobs in the next 15 years, according to a study developed by demographer Bernard Salt, on behalf of KPMG Demographics, and commissioned by NBN, the company in charge of building Australia's National Broadband Network.

The study, The Super Connected Jobs report [PDF] said that with three million new jobs created since 2000, it is likely the Australian workforce will increase by another three million workers in the next 15 years to 2030. It also predicted a changing perception for jobs such as computer programmers, and said that high tech start-ups will become more mainstream.

The report also forecasted the significant growth and digital transformation of existing jobs such as beauty therapists and personal trainers to drive the three million extra jobs.

"Australians are on the dawn of a disruptive 'Uber-work' era," Salt said. "Super connectivity made available via the NBN network will deliver a greater balance between work and lifestyle pursuits as we redefine how, when, and where we will work."

The report found that "technocrats" -- knowledge-based workers who are highly skilled, highly trained, and well-remunerated -- will undertake a spectrum of jobs by 2030, including electrical engineers, medical researchers, and business entrepreneurs.

"A future technocrat could conduct an international collaboration via high speed broadband, to collaborate, develop, and commercialise a research project," the report said.

"The rise of new technology and digital disruption will facilitate a level of entrepreneurialism unlike ever before.

"This will influence the economy with the rise of 'Silicon Cities and Beaches' outside of metro areas, as more small and agile businesses pop-up with new ways to disrupt, improve, and create value."

Workers engaged in technology-based roles will be those in specialist professions, including accountants, dentists, urban planners, doctors, and teachers, the report said. It also highlighted that professionals such as doctors will conduct more of their work remotely, and will rely on technology to diagnose and treat patients.

Creative-types, such as "social media engineers" were also flagged as jobs of the future, with the sector predicted to be reliant on hassle-free, large data transfers, using access to high speed broadband for inspiration and instant connections with peers and clients.

The report also said caregivers, including social workers, personal trainers, and nannies will utilise technology in an uber-like way, and conduct group sessions, respectively, via high definition video-conferencing. Tradespeople such as plumbers, carpenters, and electricians are expected to still be required despite automation, and will create new ways of communicating with clients, ordering materials, allocating work, and processing payments by way of emerging technologies.

While digital disruption will create new business models, the majority of Australia's job growth will come from "the jobs of today", the report said, adding that connectivity is expected to impact all types of jobs, even those not strictly in the technology space.

"New tools and new ways of communicating will influence all jobs of the future, no matter if you are a teacher, plumber, doctor, or photographer," the report said.

NBN itself has just created 4,500 jobs, to aid the roll out of its network across Australia. The company said it will spend approximately AU$40 million on recruitment, training, and advertising, and hopes to lure entry-level employees, experienced workers, and returning retirees to the industry by offering flexible work-life options on both long-term and short-term contracts.

Earlier this year, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) published its major research report, 'Australia's future workforce?', calling on Australians to ensure that the nation is technologically ready for the workforce of the future.

According to the think tank, more than five million jobs -- almost 40 percent of Australian jobs that exist today -- have a moderate to high likelihood of disappearing in the next 10 to 15 years, citing technological advancements as the reason.

In its report [PDF], CEDA said that while there will be new jobs and industries that emerge from the increasingly digital era, Australia will suffer if it does not plan for, and invest in the right areas.

"Australia and the world is on the cusp of a new but very different industrial revolution, and it is important that we are planning now to ensure our economy does not get left behind," CEDA chief executive, professor Stephen Martin said at the time.

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