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Soft skills intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030

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#Skills2030 – Building the future workforce 

A workforce with a broad mix of skills is crucial for business success and national prosperity.

Businesses with more skilled staff have higher rates of innovation and productivity.

And academic literature has found a consistent relationship between human capital and economic growth.

But do we fully understand the workforce skills necessary for success?

Soft skills are also referred to as employability skills, enterprise skills, or human skills and they are transferable between industries and occupations.

Seven of the most important soft skills in the workplace:
  1. Communication
  2. Teamwork
  3. Adaptability
  4. Problem-solving
  5. Leadership
  6. Work ethic
  7. Time managementThey also include things like:
  8. emotional judgement
  9. professional ethics, and
  10. global citizenship

DeakinCo. asked Deloitte Access Economics to assess the importance of obtaining and measuring soft skills to better understand areas that need to be improved in the Australian workforce and businesses. To do this, Deloitte Access Economics consulted with key industry experts and analysed new detailed data from job matching tools, LinkedIn and Workible, to assess both international and domestic demand for these skills and how well positioned Australians are to provide them.

As technology, globalisation and demographic shifts continue to shape how businesses compete, the importance of soft skills will grow.

In this report, “Soft skills for business success” Deloitte Access Economics forecasts that soft skill intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030, compared to half of all jobs in 2000. The number of jobs in soft-skill intensive occupations is expected to grow at 2.5 times the rate of jobs in other occupations.

Businesses recognise the importance of building soft skills in their employees in order to harness the broader benefits. We estimate that businesses spend $4 billion every year on training, and another $7 billion each year on recruiting the right staff. Yet without objectively and comprehensively measuring soft skills, it is difficult to measure the impact of this investment.

Given the importance of soft skills, we must continue to build our understanding of how we perform. Effectively investing in improving our soft skills will bring significant benefits – to individuals, businesses and our economy.

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The importance of soft skills

Soft skills are critical to our future success, and their importance is recognised by education providers, academics, human resource departments, and businesses. However, there are many gaps in the literature about the impact of soft skills on businesses, and the current attainment level of soft skills in Australia.

How we develop and use soft skills is critical for business performance and success—now and even more so into the future.

Digital disruption, globalisation and demographic shifts are shaping Australia’s future skill needs, with soft-skill intensive occupations expected to account for two-thirds (63%) of all jobs in Australia by 2030, according to the report Soft skills for business success report by Deloitte Access Economics.

DeakinCo. and Deloitte have collaborated to research the importance of obtaining and measuring soft skills to better understand areas that need to be improved in the Australian workforce and businesses.


Value of ‘soft skills’ in recruitment 

6 Apr 2018: The Department for Education has launched an exciting project “the Young people skills short survey” looking into how young people can better articulate the ‘soft’ skills they’ve gained through extra-curricular activities. These activities can be formal, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, or informal, such as caring for a relative. As an employer of young people, your opinion on this area would provide valuable insight for their project.

DfE are interested in understanding your views on students entering 16+ education and making career choices. This will help their researchers gain a deeper understanding of how choices work from those either working in this space (e.g. careers advisers and teachers) or that would benefit (e.g. employers).

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