Technology changing regional job market
TECHNOLOGY is threatening jobs in the Western Downs, according to the latest date from the Regional Australia Institute.
The institute states 72 per cent of jobs in the Western Downs are at moderate- to- high levels of vulnerability of being taken over by automation machines.
Sales assistants, mobile plant operators and general clerks have been identified as the three jobs most at threat. There is much better news for school teachers, retail managers and construction, distribution and production managers, as these three roles have been identified as least at risk.
But Dalby businessman Troy Law does not believe it is all doom and gloom for the region's workforce.
He said most industries should look for ways to incorporate technology into their business, without downsizing their workforce.
Mr Law, general manager of manufacturing company Simplicity Australia, said technology had changed his business significantly during the past 30 years but it had not affected his workforce.
"We have pursued the ability to use technology the best we can,” Mr Law said.
"You will not stay in business, as a medium-to- large-sized business, if you are not (using technology).
"Our workforce size in the past 20 years has been consistent, technology has changed and our philosophy about our business has changed.”
Mr Law said the advancement of technology provided new opportunities.
In his assessment, technology was creating as many jobs as it was making redundant. "The threat of redundancy in some sectors is real but the opportunity is real and I think they balance each other out,” he said.
"It creates new opportunities, as technology can allow me to produce things I could not before.
"This then requires additional people.
"All of the base skills you need to know to run (new technology) come from historical knowledge or previous equipment.”
Mr Law said his business had the opportunity to grow its workforce because of advancements in technology.
He said the growth in his company's capabilities to manufacture different equipment allowed for a stronger workforce.
"As the cost goes down, the demand goes up and so does the production,” Mr Law said.
"When that increases the workforce grows with it.
"Every time a business grows, the support mechanism which is around it grows with it.”