Act quickly on STEM jobs to solve the innovation drought

STEM education — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — is the key to Australia’s future growth argues PwC’s Asia boss Luke Sayers. Nearly half of current jobs are at risk from digital disruption, but shifting just 1% of workforce to STEM roles would add $57.4 billion to Australia’s GDP.

The older I get, the more time I spend thinking about the future of Australia. In particular, I worry about the kind of country my four daughters and the rest of their generation will inherit, and the kind of opportunities that will be available to them when they finish their education and are ready to go out and find their place in the world.

I believe the future success of Australia — and consequently our children — depends on our ability to keep up and compete in the economy of the future.

It’s clear that the resources boom is not going to sustain us much longer, and we’re already seeing the consequences of a failure to adapt … slower growth, declining real incomes, declining employment, and increasing shortfalls in tax revenues.

Businesses are working hard to come to terms with the new reality and are beginning to build workforces that will enable them to compete in a new, digital economy. Just to give you a sense of how the digital landscape is being transformed, consider this fact:

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