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New skills will define future workers: Deloitte

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Jobs that require interpersonal and creative skills, conflict resolution, cognitive work and sales will be increasingly in demand over the next decade, despite the automation revolution, Deloitte says.

This means companies must build community trust and embed ethical behaviour, diversity and inclusion in their decision-making and culture.

The ability to interact and build relationships with clients and stakeholders is the most in-demand skill in the economy, with a severe shortage of workers displaying such attributes.

The finance sector in particular needs to double the number of workers with such skills, the consultancy says. There will also be a shortage of staff with organisational and time management abilities, and digital skills.

Soft-skill jobs that focus on areas such as championing professional ethics and exercising emotional judgment will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030, according to a Deloitte report.

Businesses must provide the right training for workers to transition from jobs susceptible to automation to those complemented by technology.

The future of work will require more and better on-the-job learning than Australian companies have today. Returns from such learning have been increasing for a while because skill requirements are changing faster and becoming more job-specific, the study says.

“Many more jobs will change in nature because of automation, rather than disappear altogether,” Deloitte Access Economics partner David Rumbens said.

“We can use technology to our advantage to create more meaningful and productive jobs involving more meaningful and well-paid work.”

A continued shift from routine work to cognitive work will make project and program administrators, information and organisation professionals, general managers and C-suite executives, and health and welfare support workers the fastest-growing occupations.

Deloitte says national income will lift by $36 billion a year from 2030 if workers are provided with the right skills, and if industries improve matching between what businesses need and the skills workers have, and create more flexible workplaces.