The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) will establish an Industry 4.0 Industry Reference Committee (IRC) to help ensure vocational education and training gives students the future-focussed skills they will need as workplaces become radically transformed by increased automation and digitalisation.
The IRC will work with industry to identify the competencies students need in areas such as big data, supply chains, automation, digital skills and cyber security. These competencies could then be included in a range of qualifications across the national training system.
“Australia stands to gain from new technological breakthroughs but only if we prepare people for the skills and knowledge to help them move between jobs and to transition to new and emerging ones,” said AISC Chair, John Pollaers.
Industry 4.0 is also known as the fourth industrial revolution and describes the profound change that artificial intelligence, increased digitalisation, robotics, advances in data exchange and other new technologies will bring to manufacturing and the economy more generally.
The IRC will be made up of leaders with expertise in areas such as advanced manufacturing, ICT, transport and logistics and engineering.
“The Industry 4.0 IRC will help future-proof the national training system, ensuring it is responding to innovation and identifying skills needs not covered by existing qualifications,” Pollaers said. “Skills need to be high on business’ agenda. Australia’s global innovation ranking slipped four places to 23rd spot in 2017 – we risk being left behind if we don’t think about future skills now.”