Employment Mega Trends
By Alex Hargreaves
Employment mega trends – what are they and how do they apply to you?
Megatrends can be defined as changes that effect societies, governments and economies permanently over a long period of time (CSIRO, 2016). VicHealth have commissioned CSIRO to carry out research for the purpose of identifying what opportunities and challenges may arise for young people’s future employment prospects. Throughout the course of this research, CSIRO identified five megatrends which will all undoubtedly contribute to the well-being, emotional stability and employability of young people of the future. As YOU are the young people of the future, it may be worth reading up on these 5 megatrends so that you may assess how they could apply to you.
The first megatrend is ‘The Rising Bar’. The Rising Bar refers to the rising collective skill set and education level of society as well as the increase in computing power, device connectivity and artificial intelligence. As people become more qualified and have a broader range of skills, obtaining a job inevitably becomes more competitive. Not to mention, some jobs have been automated due to computers and robots being able to perform tasks at a higher level of efficiency than we can. What hope do we have when competing with machines? Inter-connectivity has made it possible to be employed but never leave your home to do your job. A company may have an office in Sydney, but have someone in Brisbane sitting in their home editing content for them. All of these factors have contributed to a job market where it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable employment.
The second megatrend is ‘Global Reach’. Digital Technology has the ability to remove traditional barriers and consequently, is changing the way that organisations, societies, governments and individuals operate. Global Reach refers to the ability to reach a large number of people at a fast rate from far locations. This megatrend may see the emergence of portfolio workers who have no fixed agenda but are now able to sell their skills to multiple employers by placing online advertisements and creating websites which showcase their skills. The internet provides people with the capacity to learn any new skill from anywhere in the world and anyone can make money from teaching new skills online. This quick and easy access to global audiences has also caused the upsurgeance of entrepreneurs. These days, anyone with a smart idea can go to into business for themselves and the boundaries between home and work are seemingly becoming more blurred.
The third megatrend is known as ‘Life’s Richer Tapestry’. This trend refers to the uprising of multiculturalism and diversity within the Australian community over the last few decades. The barrier between refugees and steady employment is a concern, and is likely to cause distress and dissatisfaction amongst this population group. Another concerning trend is that it has been predicted that there will only be three people of working age for every person aged over 65 years by 2030. This will undoubtedly lead to a drop in the funding of important areas, such as infrastructure, in order to sustain the growing need for health care.
The fourth megatrend is ‘Overexposure to Online’. The evolution of digital technology has brought about many exciting developments for young people, however it has also created new risks and challenges. In the next few years, it is predicted that young people will face an upsurgeance of cyber-crime including identity theft, online bullying and victimization. This in turn could lead to mental health issues and poor self-esteem. It is also worth noting that the overexposure of people’s personal lives online is cause for comparison. Young people may have an undefined sense of privacy due to the fast uploading of personal information that the internet allows for. Young candidates are able to upload their resume and portfolio, but if this information gets hacked, they may not be able to edit or remove it again.
Finally, the fifth megatrend is ‘Out of the Shadows’. This trend refers to the development of our understanding of mental health disorders and how they affect individual lives. In recent decades, our collective knowledge of mental health disorders and ability to speak openly about them has vastly improved and this trend is expected to continue. Stigma surrounding mental illness is likely to decrease and there will be a large focus on preventative and healing measures. It is likely that support for mental illness within workplaces will increase and there will be options for employees suffering to seek the help they require.
Click here for a more in depth explanation of these megatrends!