Workplace tech boom requires new IT literacy

IT Crowd - Higher IT skills required for AI - Newsreel
The typical advice from the IT Crowd to "try turning it on and off" may not be enough in the new world of technology. | Photo: Publicity photo The IT Crowd television show.

Queensland firms are needing to lift their information technology (IT) skills to a new level as technology moves deeper and faster into workplaces.

Jobs Queensland Executive Director Joshua Rayner told a Queensland Futures Institute forum that innovation and demand for skills was reshaping the skills horizon.

Many industries, including IT and construction, were all “doing well at the same time”, driving new skills and volume demands.

“Every organisation now has a requirement (for an) additional level of IT literacy,” he told the Queensland Policy Leaders’ Forum Workforce, Education and Innovation forum.

“Change will always be inevitable and it’s increasing at a rapid rate but embracing that and planning for it is the critical point from a Jobs Queensland perspective.”

Mr Rayner said extensive future-of-work analysis by Jobs Queensland over the past five years suggested predicted job losses from automation and artificial intelligence had been exaggerated. As roles changed and evolved, more jobs tended to be created.

Griffith University Vice-Chancellor Carolyn Evans told the forum that almost everyone in the workforce would need to use AI tools in the future.

“We’ve got to make sure that we are developing students to understand the power, potential, limitations and risks (of AI) and doing so in an instructive way,” Professor Evans said.

“We’ve (also) got to think about the future and consider what human beings will do. Where do they fit into the equation as the technology gets smarter and smarter?

“We need to keep going down (the path of) those human skills, not just think because the future is technical all education needs to be technical.”