Where to From HereEach year, the Department of Employment produces employment projections by industry, occupation and region for the next five years ahead. These projections look at Australia’s future labour market and are interesting for students leaving school this year and heading into the world of study, but also for anyone keen to maintain their skills and knowledge to move into different career areas should the need arise. What careers are likely to be in most demand by 2018 and where is demand shrinking?

While a crystal ball would help us predict the hot spots, projections based on detailed Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) employment data from 2013 indicate strong growth in certain sectors. Of course unforseen economic, natural or other situations or disasters could occur between now and then which may result in these projections shifting slightly or significantly, however they give us a good place to start.

In summary, The Department of Employment projects employment to grow by 7.2% over five years to November 2018 with 16 of the 19 broad industries predicted to grow. However, of these 16 industries, many will experience only slight growth and declines in employment have been projected for Manufacturing, Mining and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. There are five top industries which are projected to provide more than two thirds of the anticipated employment growth.

So what are the industries to watch?

  1. Health Care and Social Assistance is projected to make the largest contribution with one quarter of the projected total employment growth (increasing by 229,400 or 16.3%);
  2. Education and Training is second (118,800 or 13.3%);
  3. Retail Trade is third (98,200 or 7.8%);
  4. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services is fourth (88,700); and
  5. Construction is fifth (83,500).

What’s driving the growth?

Many factors contribute to (and impact) this strong projected growth including (for Health Care and Social Assistance), the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Australia’s ageing population, and the increasing demand for childcare and home based care services.

For employment in Education and Training, projected growth will be driven by above average growth in the school aged population and continuing growth in part-time workers and non-teaching staff. Retail industry growth reflects recent increases in consumer confidence and the ongoing support of historically low interest rates.

So What Does it All Mean?

A tough or shrinking market doesn’t mean the end of your career or long term unemployment. It’s all about survival of the fittest. Whatever field you work in, it is essential that you understand how your industry is performing – both locally and globally. Then, it is always important to remain flexible and optimistic since industries, careers and jobs are changing constantly. The people who are successful embrace the changes we are experiencing and use any setbacks as a way to learn. Everyone can benefit from diversifying their skills and knowledge or learning about new areas.

We wrote a relevant article this time last year. Now might be a good time to go back and read this article about future proofing your career. Future-proofing your career means many things – primarily the need to constantly listen, learn and plan. It might include studying a different field, taking on part-time jobs or volunteering to learn new skills, going freelance or starting your own business.

Are you worried about long term career viability? If you would like a Career Coach to help you evaluate how to maximise your career opportunities for the future, please see our Career Counselling and Coaching Services.

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