The future of work 

A new world of work

The future of work in Australia will provide many opportunities, but also challenges. Globalisation, technological progress and population change are having an impact on our society and labour markets.

  • The rise of automation is real and varies across countries and industries.
  • The labour market is transforming – declining in the manufacturing sector while growing in the service sector.
  • Many adults don't have the right skills for emerging jobs, largely due to lack of basic ICT skills.

Adapted from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Teacher resources

View myfuture’s curated list of resources for career practitioners and teachers exploring the future of work.

What is the 'gig' economy?

Read the International Labour Organisation’s articles about the gig (or ‘platform’) economy.

The future of work: Is it something completely different?

Change has already happened in Australia. There are now more women and older people working, more part-time jobs and more career changes in a person’s life time. But further changes are ahead. How will these changes impact the world of work?

Read a speech on this topic by Karen Chester, the former Deputy Chair of the Productivity Commission.

Find out what skills are in demand now

The Australian Government conducts research to identify skill shortages in the Australian labour market and publish lists that show:

How do young people feel about the future of work?

See what WorldSkills learnt when it asked young people how they feel about the future.

How are work arrangements changing?

Today, fewer of us can expect to be employed on a ‘traditional’ permanent contract, with job security and stability. Employment has become more precarious with the increasing use of non-standard forms of employment, such as temporary contracts, ‘zero hours’ part-time and on-call work, and ‘dependent self-employment’.

To get the best out of these types of contract, it’s vital for individuals to understand how they work.


Watch an eight-part series about the future of work, featuring discussions with students and business representatives.

Where will the future jobs be?

In Australia, the number of workers in most industries is expected to grow over the five years from 2019. There are likely to be around 886,000 more jobs by 2023.

Opportunities will come from increased demand for goods and services and because workers leave or move between job sectors.

Read the Australian Government's Future Job Outlook to learn more about where our future jobs might be.

Finding the right work-life balance

What do you value in life? What will you find important and gain satisfaction from at work? How are policy-makers helping to enshrine these values in government policy?

To help students answer these questions, they can log in to My career profile and complete myfuture’s Values activity and also read about the decent work agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.