WHEEL TURNS FOR WORK
The technology may be new but its effect on work is not, Melanie Burgess reports
A DVANCING technology may replace humans in some jobs but the world has been through this workforce change before. As in the past, new roles will come to the fore.
Since our parents’ and grandparents’ time, new sectors have been created or become mainstream – and not just in the digital sphere.
As the workload increased for mechanics, so too did the workforce.
The number of registered vehicles grew from about 1.5 million to 18.4 million between 1950 and 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.
Australians went from having one car in the street to one car for each adult, while trucks overtook trains for commercial transport.
Employment Department figures show about 106,900 people now work as automotive electricians and mechanics in Australia.
While nannies and nurses have always existed, social and policy changes since the 1970s have created a booming care industry. Daniel Musson, chief executive of training organisation Charlton Brown, says one big influence for childcare was women beginning to work full time.
“(We expect) continued growth in that sector over the next five to six years as people need to work to maintain their lifestyle,” he says.
Meanwhile, an influential change for the aged care sector was the introduction of compulsory superannuation, as Australians now retire with the funds to pay for quality care.
“Right now we’ve got one aged care carer for every four elderly Australians but that number of elderly Australians will double in the next five years so we need to effectively double (the workforce) just to keep the same ratio,” he says.
Today’s sedentary lifestyle means we need to move more in our spare time to keep fit.
Gyms have opened up in almost every suburb and personal trainers have become common.
In just the past 30 years the sports and fitness workforce has grown from 13,200 to 87,100 workers.