The Future of Work Lab is committed to ensuring the future of work is equitable. As leaders in the field, we provide innovative understandings of the intersections of inequality, technology and policy to create more equitable work futures.
The future of work is here now. Our integrated approach draws from Sociology, Business and Economics and Computer Information Systems to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of an increasingly changing work world.
We are committed to ensuring workers and employers are prepared for the future of work through a comprehensive understanding of how the future of work will impact people, places, governments, organisations and technologies.
We are committed to evidence-based approaches to ensuring equity in the future of work.
Digital inclusion in Australia is influenced by a range of factors including income, age, education level, and residential location. Approximately 2.5 million Australians do not have access to a reliable internet connection, revealing significant limitations in access, digital ability, and affordability despite major infrastructure investments.
These interactive maps show the geographic distribution of the proportion of people who are aged 65 years and older, the proportion of households with internet, the proportion of people born outside Australia, and Median weekly household income by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) of residence.
These variables may be useful in analysing the digital divide in Victoria at a broader scale. These maps enable users to visualise the mismatch of digital services and provide community members, policymakers, and community advocates with information on digital and technology resources.
This research project is a partnership between University-based researchers and the Carlton Local Agencies Network (CLAN) to create an in-depth understanding of digital inequality in Victoria. This project was funded by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute.
Internal Migration and Work Futures
A more equitable future of work? Understanding the potential of human capital agglomeration in Regional Victoria
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, a lot of attention has been given to the internal migration patterns of city dwellers to regional Australia, the so-called ‘tree’ and ‘sea-changers’. But counter-urbanisation, the movement of people from the city to the regions, is not a particularly recent trend.
ABS internal migration data suggests that more people have been relocating to regional Australia and away from capital cities for at least the last twenty years. The pandemic, it seems, has simply amplified a well-established trend.
Prior research into internal migration patterns suggests that a sizeable proportion of these ‘sea’ and ‘tree changers’ will be highly skilled knowledge workers whose occupations lend themselves to remote work. Many will have moved into peri-urban regions that are within a two-hour commute of their office, making it possible for them maintain existing work ties whilst taking advantage of the amenity associated with a regional lifestyle.
One of the negative impacts of the internal migration trend has been the additional pressure placed on housing affordability and local service provision in the regions. Concerns about gentrification and the displacement of local residents are emerging, and there are fears that the recent acceleration of migration patterns might further entrench inequality in the regions.
Researchers at the Future of Work Lab are alert to these concerns and we’re trying to understand how the presence of increased levels of human capital in the regions might help ameliorate some of the negative impacts of internal migration.
For instance, we know that an agglomeration of human capital is associated with innovation and entrepreneurship. So, we’re curious to learn how newer arrivals might engage with local communities to foster innovation and take advantage of the emerging digital economy.
Over the coming months, we’ll be surveying regional Victoria’s newest residents and speaking with governments and regional innovators to understand the levers that will enable a more equitable, thriving regional Victoria.
We’re keen to hear from you, so if you’d like to learn more about this project, please get in touch with email@example.com.
This Melbourne MicroCert series explores how automation is changing the work we do, and the related gender trends and implications. It will arm you with a fundamental understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation – and how these could affect your profession.
Led by Associate Professor Leah Ruppanner of the University of Melbourne’s Policy Lab, you will explore how our current technological wave differs from those of the past. You will gain accessible insights into concepts such as big data, algorithms, AI and automation. Crucially, you will explore which skills will be sought after in future workplaces – and how to attain them.
This Melbourne MicroCert is part of our Future of Women at Work series, which examines the policy, digital skills and interpersonal approaches necessary to establish gender equity in our future workplaces. The series also provides a pathway into the Master of Social Policy. See course details for more information.
Future of Work Fellows
The Future of Work Lab selects a few highly competitive graduate students to serve as Future of Work Fellows. The fellows receive mentorship and seed funding to develop innovative projects around the future of work. The Future of Work Fellowship is designed to build research skills, industry partnerships and research translation.
Our current fellows are investigating: (1) attrition rates of women in STEM; and (2) employment opportunities for women seeing asylum in Victoria.
Mira Gunawansa is a Fellow at the Future of Work Lab. Mira is a postgraduate from The University of Melbourne, holding a Master in Development Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies. She is interested in exploring Gender, Refugee Rights and Racial Literacy in the field of Sustainable International Development. Currently, Mira is working on the publication of resources to assist women seeking asylum in gaining and retaining employment in the Victorian workforce.
Kate Dangar is a Fellow at the Future of Work Lab. Kate is currently completing her Master of Development Studies from the University of Melbourne, and is interested in gender, public policy and humanitarianism. Prior to joining the Future of Work Lab, she worked in the sustainable fashion industry. Kate's project with the Future of Work Lab seeks to address the rising rate of attrition amongst women in STEM between tertiary education completion and career transition. Using a monitoring and evaluation process, she is developing a mentorship program which links female STEM students with industry professionals to strengthen workforce engagement.
The Future of Work Lab hosts talented Master's student interns who lead projects across a range of future of work issues. The interns produce policy reports covering pressing and timely topics in this area. Our interns are trained in advanced analytical, research and report-writing skills as well as collaboration, teamwork and interpersonal skills.
Women, policy and the STEM pipeline: Bridging the gap between tertiary education and the workforce for female STEM studentsPDF Report
The Gendered Costs of Childcare: A feminist analysis of the effects of Australia’s early childhood education and care system on women’s inequality in the workforce and beyondPDF Report
Exploring the challenges that women seeking asylum face in gaining employment in AustraliaPDF Report
Improving stimulus after COVID-19: What can be learnt from the Australian fiscal response?PDF Report
Critical Reflection on Queer Rights Discourse & Determinants of Queer Rights Violations in Mainland ChinaPDF Report
Sum Kiu Chu
COVID-19 Infodemic: Empowering Australia against infodemicPDF Report
The Future of Work Lab is supported by the Victorian Government, through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund- Department of Education & Training.
The future of Work thanks the Victorian Government for their support to create equitable work futures.
For further information, please visit the press release from the Premier’s Office containing details about this funding.