August 17

What does the Future of Work look like?

WFuture of Worke were lucky enough to be invited to attend the RedEye Future of Work Conference in Brisbane this week as an exhibitor and speaker.

With the theme obvious, the discussions and information shared was not.

Dr Alexandra Bratanova, Research Scientist at Data61 CSIRO, set the stage sharing with us the data that shows how the workforce has changed since the 90’s to now and how these changes are only picking up pace at a rapid rate as we move into the future.

Their research identified 6 megatrends that make it very clear, the Future of Work is going to look and feel very different to how we currently work.  The 6 megatrends are;

  • The second half of the chessboard
  • Porous boundaries
  • The era of the entrepreneur
  • Divergent demographics
  • The rising bar
  • Tangible intangibles

Out of these 6 megatrends, there were 3 that I felt really stood out for our industry, both in how we create and deliver training and education.  These 3 are;

Pourous Boundaries

Jobs of the future are likely to be more flexible, agile, networked and connected.  As will training in the future.  Future students will expect to be able to complete their training from wherever and whenever they want to.  It will no longer be a ‘nice to have’ but rather a ‘must have’

Tangible intangibles

As we moving into a future of knowledge, employment growth in service industry sectors such as education and health care are likely to continue.  Also set to become increasingly important are service sector jobs requiring social interaction skills and emotional intelligence.  Definitely a big hint as to what kind of training our students are going to start looking for to ensure their employability in the Future of Work.

The rising bar

With the use of automated systems increasing, it is raising the complexity of tasks, requiring higher skill levels for entry-level positions.  With many low skilled jobs being offshored or automated, the consequence is the likelihood of a raised skills and education bar for entry into many professions and occupations.  A rising bar for skills and qualifications brings with it a rising bar for a reputation that delivers great training in both format and content.

These 3 megatrends provide an indication that the future of the education industry can be a positive one for those businesses that are prepared to evolve with current technologies.

A large business that is definitely moving into the Future of Work and taking many of the megatrends head on is Snowy Hydro in NSW.

Snowy Hydro is an electricity generation and retailing company in Australia that owns, manages and maintains the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric scheme.  More importantly, Snowy is a large business that recognises tomorrow’s workforce is going to look and feel very different to the workforce they have today.  It is this changing workforce that has Snowy taking some very exciting steps into the Future of Work.

John McGagh, Chief Information Officer of Snowy Hydro took the stage and shared with us some of the exciting steps they are taking to prepare for their future workforce, ‘Generation C’.

Members of Generation C have one big thing in common; they’re digitally and exceptionally tech-savvy.  The ‘C’ stands for connected.  Members of this generation are connected to people and things in ways we never imagined in the past.

To ensure their workforce mobility, Snowy, have moved all of their computer systems to the cloud.  They have thrown out the old desktop computers and replaced them with chromebooks and tablets keeping their team connected.

Further to their workforce mobility Snowy are currently trialling augmentation software for their maintenance program.  Yep it’s like the maintenance team’s very own version of Pokemon Go for maintaining equipment.  Providing maintenance history and schedules on their tablet for the equipment they stand in front of.

Some of this equipment is only maintained every 10-20 years which makes it very difficult to find someone with the necessary experience each time maintenance is required.  To circumvent this, Snowy are creating Digital Twins for their equipment.  Each time a piece of equipment is stripped down for maintenance the steps are captured on video and then turned into a 3D Digital Twin that takes the next person through the maintenance process step by step.  Gone are the days of a paper maintenance checklist!

The atmosphere at the conference was relaxed and intimate but you couldn’t help but feel the excitement in the room for the Future of Work.

It left me thinking about what kind of skills are going to be needed in the next 5, 10, 15 years to ensure employability and what are we doing now to make sure we have these skills for the Future of Work.

What are you doing as a business to keep up with ‘Generation C’ both as employees and students?

We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

If you would like to have a chat about how you can create and deliver training for ‘Generation C’ give us a call on 07 3040 3310, visit us on Facebook or send us an email to

To read more about the Future of Work, download the RedEye Future of Work Whitepaper by filling in your details below.

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