Key research themes

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Digital disruption and skill needs for changing and emerging industries

Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation are transforming the world of work. Developing the appropriate digital skills in the workforce is an important component for firms and nations seeking to compete in this rapidly emerging global digital economy. This research theme explores changing digital skills demand-and-supply and how employers are responding to technological uptake and associated workforce development.

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Human resource development responses to technological disruption

This research theme is dedicated to investigating the various mechanisms developed by leaders and managers within the human resource management (HRM) field in response to growing technological disruption under the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution. Research is conducted across a wide range of industries, occupations and workplaces, with a particular focus on the transformation of jobs and employment arrangements.

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The changing training environment and skills formation

This research theme examines the tensions that can emerge between training design intentions and training delivery outcomes when training delivery is marketised. Across a range of countries training sector reforms have occurred resulting in vocational education and training being delivered by a variety of public, private and not-for-profit organisations who compete in the training market.   The implications of this training market for the quality, depth and breadth of training is a major consideration.

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Technologically displaced workers, occupational mobility and skills transferability

As economies change, and industries and new technologies are adopted, workers confront uncertain futures.  This research theme considers the experience of workers in transition, how the vocational education and training system cultivates cross-occupational mobility and how displaced workers are assisted to finding new employment.

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Ageing workforces and skills replenishment

Across many OECD countries, skills shortages are emerging as a consequence of ageing and retiring workers. This research theme examines the challenges of the ageing workforce across a range of countries and industries and how governments and industries are responding.  It considers the experience of older workers, the training and upskilling of younger workers, and employers' training and recruitment practices.

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Skills development and skills needs in emerging markets

With the extensive industrial transformations taking place in recent decades, the productivity and global competitiveness of an economy relies strongly on the quality and diversity of the national skills base. Unfortunately, research is increasingly showing that developing and emerging economies risk being left behind, particularly with regard to 21st century advanced technological innovation, because of a lack of appropriate and adequate workforce skills. In this context, this research theme focuses on existing and emerging skills issues in the developing and emerging economies. It examines, among others, the changing requirements for skills, the capacity of national training systems to supply appropriate skills and the role of government policies in this space.

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Skills in the Disability Services sector

The disability services sector and its workforce confronts significant challenges. Employment in the sector is growing and the workforce requirements are changing with the introduction of organisational and technological innovations and a rapidly changing policy and regulatory environment. Employers within the sector often struggle to recruit appropriately skilled staff and verify worker credentials. Many employees, on the other hand, either struggle with not receiving sufficient training and professional development due to the increasingly flexible and casualised nature of employment in the industry or are expected to repeat training as they move from one employer to another. Both situations contribute to inefficiencies and costs to the sector. Improving training, skills recognition and recruitment outcomes for employers and employees is a pressing need. This research theme focuses on these concerns.

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Enhancing Work Capabilities for new migrants

This research theme focuses on skill improvements for recently arrived migrants, and how targeted programs (e.g., women empowerment through leadership development and financial literacy) help migrants adapt to a changing workforce, start own small businesses, and or re-join the Australian workforce.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer