Research by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) revealed about 44 per cent, or 5.1 million jobs, are at high risk of being affected by computerisation over the next 20 years, and 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations now require STEM skills.
Economic modelling by PwC shows that shifting just one per cent of the workforce into STEM roles would add $57.4 billion to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product over 20 years.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has reported that between 2006 and 2011 STEM skills jobs grew at about 1.5 times the rate of other jobs in recent years – by 14 per cent compared to 9 per cent.
According to the ABS, about 18 per cent of the Australian workforce has STEM qualifications with design, engineering, science, transport and ICT professionals the fastest growing occupations.
Research undertaken by the Australian Industry Group in 2014 found almost 44 per cent of employers experienced difficulties recruiting STEM qualified technicians and trade workers. The main barriers were a lack of qualifications relevant to the business (36 per cent) and a lack of employability skills and workplace experience (34 per cent).