A new report from the Tech Council of Australia suggests that Australia should expect up to 200,000 new AI-related jobs by 2030.

Meeting the AI skills boom, a report released at Parliament House today, was developed by the Tech Council of Australia (TCA) and supported by Microsoft, Linkedin and Workday.

The report highlights an increasing pressure for workers to embrace AI technology in the workplace, despite concerns of a skills shortage without legislation to protect human rights.

The report found that AI will create an additional 200,000 jobs in Australia by 2030. However, this will require a 500 percent growth from current AI workforce levels. With Australia’s current AI personnel sitting at around 33,000, this would mean a workforce of approximately 165,000 in the next six years. More workers will be necessary to meet a growing demand, while simultaneously adapting to meet requirements in tech and non-tech occupations as machine learning becomes increasingly common.

For some, this means a concerning expansion. Speaking to this fear, Matt Tindale, Managing Director, LinkedIn Australia and New Zealand, said “the existing tech workforce is already straining to meet demand, but growing the number of AI development jobs could be achieved by offering alternative entry-level pathways, opportunities for mid-career retraining and upskilling in AI, and drawing on skilled migration, particularly for highly technical roles requiring experience.”

This would mean encouraging larger participation in VET and short-course training to develop a nation-wide digital literacy.  CEO of TCA, Damian Kassabgi, believes this is the future whether we’re ready or not.

“Artificial intelligence is one of the leading tech trends and it’s transforming how we work. We’ve seen enormous growth in Australia’s AI workforce in recent years, which will only increase with greater adoption of the technologies,” he explains.


Automation is becoming increasingly common in the workplace.


While the report has raised concerns about the rate of AI expansion, it also offers hope for a successful future. Fields such as finance, human resources, sales, and governance roles across legal, policy and risk will see a boom in jobs as AI systems support efficiency and productivity.

In fact, it’s predicted that further adoption of AI could contribute an additional $115 billion to the economy, 70 percent of which as a result of productivity gains.

“We need to prepare Australia’s workforce for the opportunities that the widespread adoption of AI presents, and ensure we have the pipelines of AI-ready workers in place to meet the huge demand for AI jobs,” says Paul Leahy, Regional Sales Director Public Service at Workday. 

Speaking to concerns about the changes brought about by AI, Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, Sarah Carney, points out the ways technology is already supporting Australian industries.

“Australians are already using AI-powered tools to help with tasks and are reporting that it saves them time and allows them to focus on more important work and be more creative,” she explains.

In fact, a recent CSIRO report shows that 68 percent of Australian businesses have already adopted AI into everyday activity, with a further 23 percent intending to implement this technology over the next 12 months. 

These companies found that AI helped them to increase revenue and improve cyber security. For example, Aussie companies using customer service bots reportedly earned $500,000 in revenue due to better response times and personalisation of product recommendations. 

Moving forward, many hope that this positive trend will continue. 

“But there is still massive growth to come,” says Ms Carney, “so we need to ensure we have the AI-skilled workers available to recap the economic and social benefits that the technology will bring as it becomes more widespread.”

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