The Australian employment market has gone through somewhat of an upheaval over the past few years thanks to Covid and all the changes it has wrought, and nowhere is this more evident than in the surge in demand for those with skills in digital technology and healthcare.
According to research from the federal government website Labour Market Insights from February this year, four service industries are projected to provide more than 60 per cent of total projected employment growth up to November 2026:
- Healthcare and Social Assistance
- Accommodation and Food Services
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
- Education and Training.
At the same time, the 10 most in-demand occupations in terms of projected employment growth over the same period will be:
- Aged and Disabled Carers
- Software and Applications Programmers
- Registered Nurses
- General Clerks
- Database and Systems Administrators and ICT Security
- Management and Organisation Analysts
- Human Resource Managers
- Welfare Support Workers
The website also cautioned that the data used to make these projections, largely garnered from the National Skills Commission’s State of Australia’s Skills 2021: now and into the future, is inherently volatile, thanks in no small part to the pandemic and the unprecedented changes in labour market indicators it has brought with it.
Nonetheless, the figures reflect some big changes, not least of which is a big shift in growth for positions requiring higher education qualifications. By way of example, the February Labour Market Insights research revealed that more than nine out of every new 10 jobs created in the economy will require post-school qualifications, whether that be through tertiary education or TAFE courses and apprenticeships. Moreover, it is projecting 14.2 per cent growth in demand for STEM positions (science, technology, engineering, and maths), almost twice as much as for non-STEM positions (7.4 per cent) up to November 2026.
IT, health and services will lead the way in jobs growth
The importance of the 4 Cs (Care, Computing, Cognitive Ability and Communication) as outlined in the NSC report are also underscored by the projections for the growth in demand for IT and health-related occupations. Australia’s population is aging and roles in Aged and Disability Care are projected to rise by 74,900 (28 per cent), while Registered Nurses will also be in much higher demand, with 40,400 new positions projected to come onto the market over the same timeframe.
At the same time, the projections for growth in the IT sector are also staggering, with 42,200 new positions for Software and Applications programmers opening up (28 per cent more than the present), and 29,100 for Database and Systems Administrators and ICT security specialists (a rise of 38.9 per cent).
Last but certainly not least, service industries will continue to experience broad growth as the country continues to transition towards a more service-based economy, which is reflected in the projected rise in demand for positions such as solicitors, where some 20,400 roles will come onto the market by November 2026 (representing 21 per cent growth over current numbers) and in Human Resource Managers (19,300 and 16.3 per cent growth respectively).
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