Queensland needs more people entering high education if it is to achieve its economic goals, says Deloitte Australia.
Queensland needs more people entering high education if it is to achieve its economic goals, says Deloitte Australia.

‘Dumb’ Queensland being left behind

QUEENSLAND'S poor rate of higher education "just won't cut it'' if its economy is to meet its goals over the next 10 years, according to a Deloitte report.

The report said there was rising inequality in the state's labour market caused by people being "on the wrong side of global forces'' and being left behind when their industry was overtaken by technology.

One example was automation in manufacturing displacing lower-skilled workers.

"Education has not been a strong point for Queensland in recent years,'' the report said.

"Tasmania is the only state with a lower proportion of the population attaining higher education qualifications than Queensland.

"In a knowledge economy, this just won't cut it. There is much more work to be done here.''

Deloitte said that if Queensland "gets it right'' the economy could grow by $54 billion and 230,000 jobs over the next decade.

The result of Queensland's lower rate of university and further education was growing disparity which meant that in 2014-15 one third of Queensland's total income was earned by 10 per cent of the population.

"Solid investments in our livability and job creation will be needed to attract people to Queensland and keep them here. But if we're to capitalise on these opportunities, we need to be proactive,'' it said.

It said a strong economic future for Queensland included a protected Great Barrier Reef and growing reef-based industries.

"The employment supported by the Great Barrier Reef is more than most of Australia's major banks, and many corporates including the likes of Qantas and Deloitte Australia.

"The reef is critical to supporting economic activity and jobs in Australia, particularly in Queensland.

"The livelihoods and businesses it supports across Queensland regions far exceeds the numbers supported by many industries we would consider too big to fail.''