Future of jobs in Australia: What will they be?

The world of work is constantly changing, but it’s been far more pronounced in recent years. From an unexpected global pandemic to increasing digitalisation, these factors are having a significant impact on a number of major industries.

To help put things into perspective, we’re exploring four sectors to watch over the coming years. The future of jobs in Australia is changing – will you be ready for it?

Trends that are effecting real change in the work landscape

No one could have predicted the countless knock-on effects that the COVID-19 pandemic would have both in Australia and globally. It’s not just the health implications, but also how it’s impacting our work and home lives. Locally, we saw whole industries such as tourism and hospitality shut down almost overnight. Moreover, how we work – i.e. working remotely rather than in the office – has forced a number of organisations to rethink how they operate. After all, if you can see increased productivity while reducing overheads, why wouldn’t you want to embrace a hybrid work style?

There are also the more long-term ramifications (as well as benefits) of digitalisation. For years now, many industries have been shifting away from more traditional work practices to integrate tech-driven solutions. Whether that means professional services firms overhauling their legacy systems, or client-facing small-to-medium enterprises throwing themselves into a digital transformation, technology is undeniably changing the way we live and work, with it bound to have a significant influence on the future of a number of jobs.

So which industries are seeing the biggest shifts – and which will require an influx of workers over the next five to 10 years?

1. Healthcare

If the pandemic has highlighted anything, it’s the sheer importance of having a robust healthcare system with enough free beds – and the staff to service them. The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the largest employing industry in Australia. In 2021 there were over 1.8 million people employed in this industry, which is projected to increase to more than 2.0 million by 2025.

We’re seeing similar trends here in Australia, albeit relative to our much smaller population. According to the National Skills Commission, massive government spending into healthcare means we’ll need to hire an additional 250,000 workers by 2025. The problem at the moment is a dwindling interest in healthcare careers, with enrolments in relevant higher-education courses down since 2016.

What’s driving this surge of healthcare jobs? Yes, the pandemic has accelerated our need for them, but it’s mostly down to a rising preference for telehealth and other remote healthcare services.

2. Education and training

Much like telehealth is changing how medical professionals attend to their patients, education is also experiencing a revolution thanks to digital technology. Remote learning is much more achievable, and for higher education, there’s a new focus on bite-sized learning (or micro-credentials) for upskilling.

For educators and trainers, this more flexible, modular and online approach to learning means they need to adapt to the needs of their clients – i.e. their students. Being tech literate will be a staple of the teaching profession in the coming years, which will also open up workers from other fields to transfer their skills across to education.

3. Construction

While other industries were shutting down across the country, construction saw the inverse – a massive ramp-up of projects that both the federal and state governments used to help prop up the economy. But even after the pandemic has run its course, it’s expected that construction will require a huge number of new workers.

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business predicts a need for more than 113,000 additional workers in the building and construction industry by 2024 – a 9.7% increase. This may be a challenging figure to reach for some parts of the sector, as demand for construction workers in some parts of the world is already approaching a 20-year high.

The case is clear: construction is in demand. But will there be enough people willing to build a career in the industry? Expect to see a broadening of skill sets and higher wages offered to help entice talent to construction jobs.

4. Digital technology

While it’s not a specific job or even a dedicated industry by the standard definition, the writing is on the wall that digital technology workers will be in huge demand over the coming five to 10 years.

In order to keep pace with technological change, Australia alone will need an extra 6.5 million digital workers, according to a report by Amazon Web Services. For both newly skilled and reskilled workers, we’ll need to see a surge of 79% by 2025 to hit jobs targets, and the typical worker will need to avail themselves of seven new digital skills in order to remain an attractive prospect by employers.

The bottom line? If you’re not tech-savvy, now is the time to broaden your skillset as we transition into the age of technology-driven work.

You may not be able to predict how certain industries will change over time, but you can control certain parts of your own life. Whether that means pivoting to a new career or simply securing the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to build with life insurance. As always, be sure to update your policy whenever there’s a major lifestyle change, such as switching careers.

Need to update your life insurance or find a new provider? At Real Insurance, we make life insurance easy – simply request a quote today or call us on 1300 377 325.