Australia likely to look abroad for skilled professionals needed for the age of robots

by Ray Clancy on May 2, 2017

in Jobs in Australia

There are likely to be considerable opportunities for IT professionals and engineers with niche skills and qualifications on robotics in the coming years in Australia.

A growing reliance on workplace robots in business today has sparked demand for robot creators and IT professionals with the country unlikely to be able to find enough skilled professionals among its current population.

The sector is expected to recruit experts from abroad despite changes just announced connected with the abolition of the 457 visa scheme, which was one of the most popular ways of employed key skilled workers from abroad.

There are a number of key roles that will need to be filled in coming years including robot programmers, robotics engineers, senior engineers, machine learning engineers, and various technicians, according to global recruitment giant Hays.

‘It’s important to realise that while automation is here to stay, it won’t happen overnight. These new technologies will demand different skills from IT teams and create new jobs,’ said Hays chief information officer Steve Weston.

He is urging firms, training organisations and universities to prepare now for the robotic revolution and believes that business needs to prepare and make sure their IT infrastructure is fit for purpose and that they have the necessary skills at their disposal.

He explained roles and sectors which have traditionally not featured any automation are now seeing robotics become part of the process, ranging from fruit picking to health care and one of the biggest innovators is the automobile industry.

According to Hays, workplace robots are having a big impact on IT infrastructure and departments and will require the support of niche IT experts to create tailored code to enable the machine to execute its tasks efficiently and effectively.

The firm points out that as well as a relevant degree and extensive training, robot programmers require people skills to liaise with clients so they can customise each machine to perform its desired function.

Robotics engineers, meanwhile, combine skills from a range of engineering disciplines in order to design, build and maintain complex robotic machines. They are typically qualified to degree level in either electrical, manufacturing, industrial, electronic or mechanical engineering.

Senior engineers are educated to at least degree level, and those at the cutting edge are likely to have specialist postgraduate qualifications in cybernetics and systems science research, while machine learning engineers focus on enabling computer technology to acquire intelligence in addition to that contained within its programming.

It mean that firms will be looking for employees with skills beyond traditional computer science and programming and machine learning engineers need a solid understanding of probability and statistics as well as data modelling and evaluation.

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