Employment White Paper: acknowledging AI in the workforce, ignoring non-accredited skills

Employment White Paper: acknowledging AI in the workforce, ignoring non-accredited skills

An expert from RMIT University says there’s a risk in overlooking some training models, while another applauds their acknowledgement of AI as a creator of jobs in Australia's future of work.

Dr Darryn Snell, Associate Professor of Management

Topics: National Skills Passport, education and skills, employment, jobs 

“The proposed National Skills Passport is a potentially useful development for both employees and employers.

“However, it appears to only capture formal qualifications which limits its utility.

“One of the major challenges for the National Skills Passport is capturing skills acquired through non-accredited or company-specific training so employees can demonstrate skills acquisition through these less formal avenues.

“Increasingly many employers are not interested in supporting full qualifications (for example retail, hospitality and disability care) but want workers who are 'job ready'.  

“In some cases, employees have received quality training from employers but have no way to demonstrate those skills resulting in employers assuming they are 'unskilled' and providing them training which is unnecessary.

“The government should look into how to address recognition of these informal, but credible, types of training in their pursuit to overhaul and improve Australia’s skills and employment landscape to increase employment opportunities for more Australians.”

Dr Darryn Snell is the coordinator of the Work in Transition Research Group at RMIT University's Business and Human Rights Centre. His research relates to skills and training, including the skill transferability challenges workers confront in industries undergoing significant change.    

Dr Nataliya Ilyushina, Research Fellow in the College of Business and Law

Topics: Employment White Paper, Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace, digital skills

"The White Paper brings a refreshingly positive outlook, being one of the first government reports acknowledging AI and other technologies as a creator of jobs in Australia's future of work.

"Highlighting technology as one of the shaping forces of the future Australian labour market, the White Paper signifies a turning point in governmental perspective on the workforce.

"No longer haunted by fears of mass job losses from AI, the government is now seeming to embrace it as a positive force for job creation and a boost to productivity, citing the MIT research that showcases a 37% improvement in productivity for mid-level workers.

"A groundbreaking admission in the government's approach is acknowledging that technology is 'now embedded in most jobs’. 

“This underscores the importance of technology skills and education, not just for direct tech roles like ICT managers or software developers, but for the whole economy and for every individual.

"With technology becoming more personalised, accessible and widespread, the delineation between human contribution and technology in production is blurring.”

Dr Nataliya Ilyushina is a Research Fellow at the Blockchain Innovation Hub and ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) at RMIT University. Her work investigates decentralised autonomous organisations and automated decision making, and the impact they have on labour markets, skills and long-term staff wellbeing.


Media enquiries: RMIT External Affairs and Media, 0439 704 077 or news@rmit.edu.au

25 September 2023


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