This session delved into current and emerging trends in the future of work and what this means for WA Local Governments, especially with the impact of technology and the tightening of the labour market.

First up, Michelle Tjondro, Associate at SGS Economics, shared a recent local Government workforce survey that showed the ageing workforce was an issue.

While the digital transition is giving rise to new roles, soft skills  are equally as important as digital skills in the future, as well as finding resilient and adaptable workers.

Daniela Andrei, Senior Research Fellow, Transformative Work Design Curtin University, challenged the audience to think about how the nature of work was changing, who was working, when and where workers would be in the future.
She said white collar work was now also being significantly changed by digital technology, just as blue-collar work had been reduced and improved by technology.

Covid has meant more women had entered the workforce in the past two years and flexible working arrangements were equally beneficial to both older and younger workers.

A key ingredient to retaining workers was a strong positive workplace culture and success in that area will lead to employees willing to learn and train.

The take aways for Local Government from the session were for Councils to look within their own organisation, especially in the current job climate, as it was often more efficient to reskill or upskill than hiring to fill gaps.

The final word: “Australia has faced skills and labour shortages before, but never so acutely as now.” - Michelle Tjondro

Download Michelle Tjondro's
Presentation

Download Daniela Andrei's
Presentation