How can industry in the Northern Territory keep up with the rapid pace of technological change?

“Technology has shifted market demands and has dramatically changed the way we work. It’s not only reshaped existing roles but created completely new jobs that were unheard of only 10 years ago.”

Richard Fischer, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup ANZ

Following on from Fischer’s quote, talk of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is everywhere right now. It’s a topic that gained headway at last year’s World Economic Forum and has snowballed since.

Robotics, automation, 3D printing, the Internet of Things and much more fall under this realm. These technologies are so influential that in less than five years, 35% of the skills considered important in today’s workforce will change.

It will, and already is, creating enormous implications in the world of work, socially, economically, politically and ethically. Companies across the world are under a great deal of pressure to embrace new technologies in order to stay competitive.

But what about for companies closer to home? How will the Fourth Industrial Revolution affect industry across the Territory?

Embracing disruptive technologies in the Territory

The Northern Territory faces unique challenges in embracing disruptive technologies.

Most companies are vulnerable to digital disruption regardless of where they are based, but in regional and remote areas, where finding and retaining skilled workers is a routine challenge, the pressure to stay ahead of the digital game is felt even more acutely.

Over the next few years in particular, supporting Territory businesses dealing with disruptive technologies through a targeted investment of training and skilling will be of significant importance.

Upskilling trainers across the Territory

Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications are undergoing significant reform, and will be over the next four years.

In order to prepare students for the rapidly changing world of work, a multi faceted approach is needed:

  • A review of training content: are we training students for the jobs of tomorrow?
  • A greater emphasis on employability skills: are we teaching our students communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative and planning skills to help them become work-ready?
  • Upskilling trainers: are VET trainers and assessors ahead of the game with the latest technologies and trends, enough to meet the rapid change occurring across many industry workplaces?

Our role in supporting industry

Industry Skills Advisory Council NT (ISACNT) aims to bridge the gap between industry, national bodies such as Skilled Service Organisations (SSOs) and Industry Reference Committees (IRC), Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), and both the Northern Territory and Australian Governments.

How are we going to do this?

Firstly, by working with national bodies to ensure RTOs can offer training products and packages that are appropriately aligned to the NT’s skills needs.

Secondly, by collaborating with industry to ensure your needs are heard by government. To do this, we need your input. We welcome feedback throughout the year on skills shortages, and will relay your insight to the appropriate bodies. This could result in funding for your business to upskill your workforce.

Thirdly, by providing industry intelligence to the Northern Territory Government to support the Northern Territory Skilled Occupation Priority List (NTSOPL).

We encourage you to speak to our Industry Engagement Officers to discuss how technology is affecting your business and what we can do to help.