Seek is open to the idea of sharing its job data to help the government plan for an upheaval in Australia’s job market caused by automation.

The job site made the suggestion in a submission to the Senate inquiry into the future of work and workers.

“Seek is open to exploring this approach with the public sector whereby our data on the employment market can be used to craft public policy outcomes,” Geoff Roberts, Seek CFO wrote.

With new technologies both destroying and creating jobs, the inquiry set up in October last year will address the impact of automation on the supply and demand for labour.

Seek’s submission argues that Australian jobs will continue to be eliminated either by machines or by moving to markets where labour is cheaper.

“For high cost, developed labour markets like Australia, the digital economy and automation is a negative from a jobs perspective if we continue down the same path,” Roberts wrote.

“While new jobs will be created for those building the automation tools, the big question is whether they will be established at the same rate and available to the same people who are impacted? In Seek’s expert view, this is unlikely.”

The submission urges Australia to address the falling demand for labour and give serious thought about how to transition workers into roles.

“By developing sophisticated policies using Seek’s and others’ data and insight, the public sector can provide more insightful information to the labour market, specifically around where skills will be in demand and where future jobs will exist,” Roberts wrote.

For example, Seek data already shows a decline in job ads for call centre and customer service as well as banking and financial services over the last decade. Whereas it has seen an increase in job ads for medical and healthcare as well as government and defence over the same period.

The submission argues proper foresight and planning is needed to address the ongoing trend of ‘hollowing out of the middle’ where mid-level jobs disappear while low-skill and high-skill jobs are on the rise.

“If we do not prepare our workforce of today and the future for the realities of the digital age, we face a dire situation of a population of undesirable workers. Australian businesses will be fighting amongst themselves for the limited pool of highly-skilled workers. We have social structures and policies that are not made to support a new high velocity, low-skill labour force,” Roberts wrote.

Seek is also investing heavily in building a Career Services Division to match skills with education or job opportunities based on data. Access to more data source would further enhance this offering.

“Seek would like to see data sharing arrangements between Seek and the public sector to deliver superior information to Australians to ensure they develop rewarding careers paths in a digital economy.”

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