New world. New skills.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technological change that was already reshaping how we work. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic emerging technologies and increased automation continue to drive the digitalisation of business and fundamentally change the way many jobs are carried out.

To thrive in this new world, each and every person deserves to have the awareness, understanding and capability to adapt to technological change.

We need to think differently about our skills, how we couple with new technologies, and most importantly, how we keep up. But not everyone needs to learn to code. Our humanity, integrity and creativity are key.

At PwC we are building a citizen-led transformation. We are asking our people to disrupt the way we work, to innovate and co-create.

Our US$3bn upskilling investment is designed to empower our people and communities. Because when you make the world a more resilient, more capable, more inclusive place -- breakthroughs happen, value is created, entire new industries are born.

Upskilling is more than just providing access to training.

Upskilling: Bridging the Digital Divide

Upskilling for the digital world has become a priority for society, organisations and governments. The world is at an inflection point, and we need to act now, collectively, to tackle this major, global issue before we risk excluding entire elements of society from the workplace. "Bridging the Digital Divide".

Duration: 00:07:55

What do people really think about the impact of technology on jobs? 

We asked more than 22,000 workers to share their hopes and fears.  Here’s what they told us:


Change is coming

Workers know automation will change their jobs, and want to learn new skills to improve their employability.

  • 60% of Australian respondents say they are worried that automation is putting jobs at risk. Only 14% said they are not.

  • 69% of adults would learn new skills now or completely retrain to improve their future employability—of these, 23% "strongly agree".



Digital skills are key

The majority of Australian workers welcome new technologies.

  • 73% were positive about the impact of technology on their day-to-day work. Many say they believe it will help find solutions to problems (40%), and enable them to get more done (also 40%).
  • Yet less than a quarter (23%) are given many opportunities to develop digital skills through their employer.



Opportunity awaits 

Australians are positive about the job opportunities the digital world will provide them.

  • Almost half of all Australians (49%) believe technological developments will improve their job prospects.

  • However, 33% of Australian respondents believed those same developments may impede their job prospects.
  • When it comes to what type of workplace skills Australians would most like to develop they told us their top two aspirations were to become more proficient at learning and adapting to new technologies, whatever they may be (30%) and to become proficient in a specific technology (25% of respondents).

Over 34% of adults without education or training beyond secondary school say they are not learning any new digital skills, compared to just 17% of graduates

Education matters

The level of education impacts people’s optimism. When we look at our respondents around the globe, University educated respondents are the most optimistic about technology and their future employment prospects—even though they believe their current job is likely to change significantly or be displaced. Younger respondents prefer to develop proficiency in a specific technology, while older respondents are keen to build proficiency at learning and adapting to new technologies as they develop:

  • Fear is greatest where opportunities are fewest—among those whose formal education ended after secondary school.

    • Over a third (34%) of adults without education or training beyond secondary school say they are not learning any new digital skills, compared with just 17% of college or university graduates.

    • Workers without tertiary education are also less likely to be offered such training opportunities by their employers (38% are getting no such opportunities compared with 20% of graduate workers), and are understandably the group most nervous or fearful about the future.

PwC Digital Fitness app

Digital Fitness: learn anytime, any place

PwC is committed to helping our workforce recover from the shock of COVID-19. Upskilling is critical for everyone as we adjust to our new working environment and digitally driven economies. That’s why we’re making our Digital Fitness app free for all Australians. With the app, you can learn from industry leaders and experts about how business is changing and what you can do to stay ahead. You’ll also get insights and tips to help you navigate our new world and resources to engage your family and communities in e-learning.  

Access the app today with invite code GOWPWC

Find out more


Upskilling quiz

How to start upskilling

The digital revolution requires a skills revolution. The skills revolution is about helping people build their digital awareness, understanding and skills to fully participate in the digital world — and it needs to start now. 

At PwC, we are working with other organisations across the world, building on our work with clients and on upskilling our 276,000 people around the globe. Still, more must be done if we are to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn, work and participate in the digital world. This is at the heart of our purpose.


How do organisations upskill?

Organisations are transforming their workforces to drive productivity, innovation and growth. Upskilling is key. It’s about anticipating the right skills for the future, laying the cultural foundation, delivering modern upskilling programmes, and building a learning and development function with the right EdTech to deliver a vastly better return on upskilling investment.

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How is PwC reaching those at risk of being left behind?

The digital divide is already a significant global problem and is at risk of getting worse if we aren’t successful in helping those currently excluded from the workforce and the next generation to build the right skills. We are working to reach those where the need is greatest.

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How can businesses, governments and institutions work together on this complex issue?

Solutions to the challenge of upskilling will need to be developed at the local, regional and national level, and no one organisation can do this alone. Government leaders and policymakers need to ensure that citizens have the knowledge to participate, and they themselves have the knowledge to drive discussion on the future of technology and regulation. Institutions, such as those that make up the education system, need to digitally transform themselves and at the same time provide services that are fit for the future.   

You can learn about our approach to this new initiative globally or read about PwC’s local involvement in reshaping skills alongside the Federal Government through Skills for Australia.

The need to upskill is a complex problem that will require decision-makers — educators, national, regional and local government administrators and business leaders — to come together. If you would like to find out more about what we at PwC are doing, get in touch.

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Why PwC?

The most important problems are better solved together. PwC leads the market in identifying and assembling the right mix of collaborators, advisers, subject matter experts and technology, together with our people, to deliver innovative solutions. Through the power of many minds, insights become impact, opportunities become outcomes and Australia prospers.

We call this, The Together Effect.


Contact us

Peter Wheeler

Partner, People & Organisation Consulting, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (3) 8603 6504

Rebecca Smith

Partner, The Difference, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 426 815 524

Sara Caplan

Partner, National Skills Lead, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 3882

Vishy Narayanan

Chief Digital & Information Officer, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 1580

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