The head of Australia’s largest online employment website says more people will lose their jobs as businesses increasingly replace labour with technology.
The head of Australia’s largest online employment website says more people will lose their jobs and will have fewer opportunities to find work as businesses increasingly replace labour with technology.
Speaking at the B20 Summit in Sydney on Friday, Seek chief executive Andrew Bassat said jobs would undoubtedly be lost in Australia amid a shift to what big business now calls “automation”.
While machines have already replaced human workers in factories that produce cars and electronics, the use of “automation” and robots is now seeping into other industries.
Earlier this year, the Associated Press in the United States revealed plans to use software to produce robot-written corporate-earnings reports.
During a Q&A on the potential disruption from the digital economy to world economic growth targets, Mr Bassat said that based on emerging trends, the loss of jobs to technology was “a real issue”.
“There’s two things happening. One is that jobs are going to be lost full stop due to automation, and in countries like Australia you’ve got things like lower-cost markets overseas that are taking some jobs,” Mr Bassat said.
“Then you get the second thing which is sort of a split between high-skilled work, people working in the new economy … those people are really in demand and there’s a big mismatch. You can’t find enough of those people.”
He said that amid rising unemployment around the world, employers in various sectors, particularly high-tech industries, could not find the people they needed to fill job vacancies.
“But less skilled people are going to have less jobs and less opportunities. So I think particularly in that area it’s a worry and again it’s hard to put a percentage figure on it but I think it’s a real concern.”
He said a lot of the recommendations in terms of labour that had come out of the B20 meeting “had a degree of urgency about them in terms of that risk”.
The B20 group of businessmen – which aims to inform leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies who will gather in Brisbane in November – will present its recommendations to government on Friday.