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Published 23 August 2012 04:57, Updated 23 August 2012 11:00
Reinvent yourself: It may be time to upgrade your skills. Michel O’Sullivan
If you want steady work, forget about having a permanent job.
The message from US-based futurist Kevin Wheeler may seem contradictory but it acknowledges the fact that at least one-quarter of Australians are already working in non-permanent arrangements.
“The writing’s on the wall,” says Wheeler, the founder of the Future of Talent Institute.
“Australian employers, like many other Western nations, are reducing their reliance on permanent workers. This doesn’t mean they aren’t employing. It just means people are being employed in different ways . . . more firms are developing a workforce composed of larger numbers of contractors, temporary workers and consultants.
“The shift towards contingent work is still a taboo topic in Australia. But this is a real issue and we can no longer turn a blind eye to what’s happening around us.
“Individuals will need to get more comfortable with being independent and get better at selling themselves and showing where they can add value, even if it means working flexibly in the future. It may require a change in mindset for those who’ve only known permanent work but it’s a tremendous opportunity to assess your skills, set yourself up and do something you’ve perhaps always wanted to do.”
The contingent workforce is set to increase by 2.4 per cent in 2012, outpacing the 1.3 per cent expected growth for total employment, according to the Adecco Temporary Labour Report 2012.
Wheeler says that by mixing contingent and permanent employees, organisations cut costs quickly, rapidly increase staff when market demand grows and fill knowledge gaps with experts quickly and easily.
He will speak at the Australasian Talent Conference in Sydney on September 11, 12.