Diversity the key to safeguarding WA's workforce

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The most up-to-date research into Western Australia’s labour force reveals an ageing, gendered workforce that must diversify to address future challenges associated with technological change, automation and labour shortages.

The Future of Work: The Shifting Demographics within Western Australia's Labour Force found while there had been many positive changes in the workforce over the past three decades – including an increase in female participation and more flexible workplace arrangements – more work was needed to protect WA against predicted skilled worker shortages in the future.

The research is the 72ndFACTBase Bulletin to be delivered by the Committee for Perth in conjunction with the University of Western Australia, as part of the Committee’s 2020-2021 major project The Future of Work: Equipping WA and its people for the changing world of work.

CEO Marion Fulker said the research showed three major factors had impacted workforce demographics in WA over the past three decades – the increase in female labour force participation, the increase in older people in the workforce (over 60 years of age) and increasing cultural diversity.

“The other ways our workplaces are changing are the increase in part-time work which is up from 15% in 1978 to 31% in 2020 and the rise of the gig economy/contract work of which 64% of workers male.”

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.