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The future of industry and jobs, post-Covid

Construction worker
Construction worker

So what does the future hold for job seekers looking for secure employment moving forward?

While many people in industries such as the arts, hospitality and tourism took a massive hit with job losses, many other industries have ‘risen from the ashes’ since the pandemic hit us earlier in 2020.

In no particular order, here are the top 7 industries that are thriving and are likely to continue to thrive, offering plenty of opportunities to re-think and reinvent your career path.

  1. Agriculture and Food Manufacturing

Australia is in a great position when it comes to our food stocks and because of this we are one of the top food exporters, as our domestic production meets more than our needs. Last financial year our food exports were worth more than $48 billion dollars and according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), this is expected to rise even further in 2019-2020 financial year due to the pandemic and an increasing demand both domestically and internationally.

Aside from farming and agriculture, the industry offers many other employment opportunities including supply chain logistics and transport, manufacturing, and supporting industries including digital technology and regulatory services.

Employment pathways to consider include: Agriculture and Primary Industries, Food Production and Manufacturing, Transport, Distribution and Storage, Food Technology, Government (eg regulatory services), Information Technology.

  2. Medical Manufacturing 

Many (smart) businesses changed tack during the pandemic, stepping in to provide a need. These included alcohol distilleries making hand sanitisers and clothing apparel manufacturers making hospital gowns and masks. The need for ventilators, medicines, hospital beds and more created some busy times for manufacturers and the industry is likely to continue thriving.

Employment pathways to consider include: Manufacturing, Textile Clothing and Footwear, Health, Warehouse and Logistics.

  3. Digital Technology

It stands to reason that with the increase in online retail and with more of us working from home, digital technologies will hold an even greater importance. Consider the growing reliance on automation, cashless transactions and digital systems and it is obvious that the information technology industry (which was already experiencing a skills shortage) will be desperately seeking skilled workers.

Employment pathways to consider include: Information Technology, Telecommunications; and Electotechnology and Electricity Supply.

  4. Construction

While construction slowed during the pandemic it is set to increase with State Government investment in large-scale civil projects looking to reboot economies. In Queensland alone $400 million for transport and road construction projects has been committed, along with tens of millions for civil construction projects, offering huge job opportunities.

Employment pathways to consider include: Building and Construction, Civil Construction and Government (particularly project management, procurement).

  5. Mining

Both State and Federal Governments are looking to increase mining projects. The Australian Government is investing in new mining opportunities, particularly in the renewable energy sectors where natural resources such as Lithium (where Australia has huge potential), will be required to manufacture electric car batteries.

Employment pathways to consider include: Civil Construction, Conservation and Land Management, Mechanics and Engineering.

  6. Health and Social Assistance

With the impact of Covid-19 on millions of Australians, health and social assistance will be heavily in demand. Nurses, mental health support, child care and family support, employment services support and other vital community assistance is likely to be more important than ever for what was already a growing industry.

Employment pathways to consider include: Community Services, Education, Health.

  7. Asset Maintenance

Covid-19 highlighted asset maintenance as essential workers and these services are not slowing down any time soon. With commercial cleaning and waste management both important during a pandemic but also for solving longer term environmental issues, this industry is likely to grow further in importance.

Employment pathways to consider include: Cleaning and Asset Maintenance, Conservation and Land Management.

And finally… what are the top skills work places will be looking for in an employee?

Lifelong learning (continuously growing with technological skills) has become the new mantra in work places globally.

In addition though, behavioural skills such as adaptability can be even more important to employers than technological skills. In a 2018 global survey of CEOs, where core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) was the number one core skill in 2016, by 2018 that skill dropped to sixth place, while the most important skill was behavioural – a willingness to be flexible, agile and adaptable to change. The next top spots were time management, teamwork and communication.

There is no doubt that these skills are even more relevant in 2020, with many of us having to adapt and be flexible in order to survive.

Further Information

Explore career paths for newly hiring industries, through an apprenticeship or traineeship: A-Z Guide to Apprenticeships and Traineeships

The Australian article: How will Covid Reshape our Jobs

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