Which soft skills will workers need in the future?

by Brett Henebery18 May 2017
Soft-skill intensive occupations expected to account for two-thirds (63%) of all jobs in Australia by 2030, according to a new report.

The Soft skills for business success report by Deloitte Access Economics, released today, shows that while the Australian workforce has a strong soft-skill base, demand for soft skills still exceeds supply by up to 45%.

So what does this mean for workplace training moving forward?

According to the data, the growth of skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving and emotional judgement will grow 2.5 times faster than other occupations where the need for soft skills is less intensive over the period to 2030.

The report’s author and Deloitte Access Economics partner, John O’Mahony, said that as the lines between professions and industries get blurred, soft skills will become the new job currency.

“It is essential for businesses to invest in developing and measuring soft skills of their people in order to future-proof their operations,” O’Mahony said in a statement.

“Contributing to overall staff productivity, employees with more soft skills could increase business revenue by over $90,000 and enable our nation’s economy to thrive now and in the future.”

Luckily, Australia is ahead of the curve when it comes to developing these skills in its learners.
New data from LinkedIn shows that Australians have high soft skill attainment levels compared to other countries, and are three times more likely to list problem solving as a skill on their LinkedIn account than the global average.

Similarly, they are more than twice as likely to list digital literacy, innovation, and communication as the average, and almost twice as likely to include self-management and professional ethics.
While the analysis highlights that soft skills are 9 times more likely to be endorsed compared to a technical skill on LinkedIn, less than 1% of Australians report having any soft skills on their LinkedIn profiles.  This under-reporting is found to be consistent globally.

Businesses in Australia increasingly advertise soft skills as a key job criteria.

Analysis from the report points out that businesses in Australia recognise the importance of soft skills, as evident from the roles with specific soft skills they advertise.