Developing the political policies that will drive a prosperous future for jobs


I recently was interviewed on ABC News about the future of jobs, in a panel dicussion with policy advisor Terry Barnes.

You can see a video of the interview below.

In the segment Terry rightly pointed out that major political parties in Australia (and in fact in most countries around the world) are simply not considering and addressing the massive challenges likely to emerge as automation fundamentally shifts the work landscape.

What I sought to underline is that there is an enormous amount that we can do to maximize the chances of a more prosperous future.

A little while back Pew Research polled almost 2000 “experts” on their outlook for the future of work, showing almost exactly half anticipating a positive future, and half a negative future. Many of those who are negative continue to paint an apocalyptic outlook for massive “technological unemployment” and resulting social devastation.

While I believe that outcome is possible, I also firmly believe that there is an enormous amount we can do to make a positive outcome far more likely, including in shaping secondary, tertiary and adult education for a changing world, assisting job transitions, supporting growing industries and not supporting dying industries, and much more.

Government policy is political, and often effectively very short-term. It is critical that we push our political leaders and governments to articulate and enact tangible and effective long-term policies to shape the future of jobs.

Without concerted action today, a bleak outlook is far more likely. However good policy, well-enacted, can do much to drive the potential for a deeply human future of work. Let’s make it happen.