Smaller manufacturers and the big challenge of digitalisation

It’s been said that Australia’s population of enterprises has a “missing middle.”    Within manufacturing, there is certainly a heavy weighting towards the smaller end of town. A count published in the Australian Industry Group’s Australian Manufacturing in 2019 report found that of 47,530 employing companies, 87 per cent were between 1 and 19 employees…

2020 WorldSkills tradie competition to be held August 13 – 15 in Perth

More than 500 competitors and 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the WorldSkills Australia National Championships, which have been announced for August 13 – 15 at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre next year.   The national vocational and educational training (VET) competition will feature as many as 60 skills categories. It is held in conjunction…

Behind those headlines. Why not to rely on claims robots threaten half our jobs

By Michael Coelli, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne and Jeff Borland, Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne Should we believe headlines claiming nearly half of all jobs will be lost to robots and artificial intelligence? We think not, and in a newly released study we explain why. Headlines trumpeting massive job losses have been in abundance…

Australia’s digital competitiveness is slipping. Here’s how we can catch up

David Tuffley, Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics & CyberSecurity, Griffith University Australia’s ability to compete with other nations in a technology-enabled world is declining, according to a report recently released by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). In 2019 Australia dropped to 14th on the global league table of digital competitiveness, down from…

STEM failing in schools despite government focus

Comment by Peter Roberts Despite all the noise from policymakers promoting STEM study in schools, the statistics present another depressing picture of Australia’s failing VET education system. Figures released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show a continuing fall in STEM subject in Australian schools. In 2018 compared to 2017: # VET…