The Future of Transportation Work: Special Series, WA Transport

A special 6-part series of short articles from WA Transport Magazine:

Researchers have identified the transportation industry as one of the sectors likely to be most affected by the coming implementation of new technologies: such as self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence, and automated logistics systems. How will transportation workers fare as these technologies are rolled out, and what measures can be taken - by employers, governments, unions, educational institutions, and other stakeholders - to ease the transitions?

Earlier this year the Centre for Future Work completed a comprehensive review of factors influencing the future of work in transportation industries, commissioned by TWUSUPER (the main industry super fund serving the transportation sector). The report (co-authored by Jim Stanford and Matt Grudnoff) concluded that technology is not the only factor transforming work in transportation; in fact, if anything, accelerating changes in the nature of employment relationships (including the spread of independent contractor roles, "gigs", and other forms of insecure work) are having a bigger immediate impact. Moreover, with appropriate planning, consultation, negotiation, and investments in training and adjustment, the employment impacts of new technology could clearly be managed without undue harm or displacement - but only if all stakeholders commit to an inclusive, collaborative process of planning and adjustment. Please see the full Centre for Future Work report here.

In the wake of our report, the industry journal WA Transport has published a very readable compendium of short articles, each exploring a different aspect of our report.

With the kind permission of WA Transport, we reprint those articles here.Together they are a useful resource for leaders and educators in the transportation industry.

Please visit the WA Transport website for more information and subscriptions.

Part I: The Economic Importance of Transportation

Part II: Transportation Work Today

Part III: Twin Drivers of Change

Part IV: Applications of New Technology in Transportation

Part V: Work Organisation and Employment Relationships

Part VI: Change Scenarios and Policy Implications

We thank TWUSUPER for the opportunity to undertake this research, and WA Transport for publishing this series of articles.


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