Automation could cause issues for young people looking for work in the regions.
Automation could cause issues for young people looking for work in the regions.

Why regional kids are moving to the cities

WHILE it may sound easy and feel futuristic to live in a world monitored and controlled by machinery and computers, the automation of jobs could force young people to move from regions to cities for work.

Of the jobs known to Regional Australia Institute in Bundaberg, nearly 29 per cent are classified as highly vulnerable to automation.

Sales assistants and salespersons, general clerks and hospitality workers are the three jobs in the Bundaberg region that are most vulnerable to automation.

RAI co-CEO Dr Kim Houghton said automation both created and removed jobs, though not often in the same places and not for the same people.

"Our farmers are world-class in terms of their productivity - now using a lot more technology and less low skilled labour and more high skilled labour," Dr Houghton said. "This has seen employment in agriculture fall in most part of regional Australia while the value of agricultural production and agricultural exports continue to climb (on average)."

Dr Houghton said the next wave in automation was expected to be in the services sector in the replacement of front line service staff.

"The challenge for regions is that these have often been the kinds of jobs young people get when starting their working lives," he said, adding that if those jobs were automated it could dishearten young regional job seekers and push them toward cities in search of work.

The NewsMail looked at nine other cities across Queensland to compare data; Fraser Coast, Cairns, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Charters Towers and Mackay.

Of those regions, only the Gold Coast had a higher percentage of jobs at high vulnerability of automation at 29.1 per cent. Charters Towers was the only town with a lower percentage of jobs at low vulnerability of automation, 33.2 per cent compared to Bundaberg's 33.3.