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Jobs and skills in demand: planning for the future

The changing face of work

The world of work is moving fast. Thanks to new technology, an ageing population and unexpected events such as COVID-19, the way we work and the jobs we need are changing. It means we need to stay on top of trends and keep an eye out for the future if we want to stay in-demand and employable. We take a look at the changing world of work, the jobs that will be in demand and what you can do to make the most of the opportunities ahead.

Change is guaranteed

As the world of work is changing so fast, there’s a good chance the job you might have in 10 or 20 years from now may not exist today. Or if it does, it’s likely to change and look very different.

For example, take a look at teaching and education. Just 20 years ago, the internet was only starting to take off. Teachers were using blackboards and textbooks, while sending physical letters home to communicate with parents. These days blackboards are non-existent, most textbooks are found online, and mobile phone apps have become the main way to communicate. Almost every other job across different industries tells a similar story, showing us the only constant is change. So, when it comes to your own career choice, what can you do about inevitable change and how can you prepare?

Core skills for the future

There are some core skills you can develop now to help you adapt and succeed, no matter what change comes your way. Often referred to as ‘soft skills’, they define how you approach work and are relevant in any work you do. Some of these core skills include:

  • Communication – this relates to how well you can understand others and how well they can understand you. This includes the ability to explain things well to others and being able to take instructions, as well as receive (and give) feedback. It can cover interactions in person, over the phone, or over digital channels such as email or social media.
  • Teamwork – this refers to your ability to work well with others. Someone with good teamwork skills will be an active listener, works well with others and is focused on team goals.
  • Problem solving – These skills give you the ability to find the source of a problem as well as find the right solution for it. How this looks depends on your choice of career, but will generally involve analysis, creative thinking and decision-making.

Soft skills are especially important because they’re transferable. This means that you can take them with you wherever you work, which is important considering you’re likely to have multiple jobs in your lifetime.     They’re also highly valued by employers. A 2019 survey revealed 75% of employers consider these skills to be as important, if not more, than technical skills. For a more detailed list of the top soft skills in demand, take a look at the latest report from the World Economic Forum.

Finding the areas of opportunity

While soft skills play a big part in future-proofing your employability, so too do technical skills.

Almost every career choice will require some level of education or training. And because this will involve both time and money spent on your end, it’s important to consider future demand along with your own interests and capabilities. By training in an area of future demand, you open yourself to more opportunities, options and choices when it comes to your employment. 

Here are some of the areas of demand for jobs beyond 2021:

Healthcare and social assistance

As Australia’s largest and fastest growing industry, the healthcare and social assistance sector employs over 1.5 million people – and show no signs of slowing down. The sector covers critical services like health, childcare and aged care, with most jobs in the sector forecast to experience very strong future growth. For most jobs in this sector, you’ll need to undertake some level of training and education. Qualifications range from certificate level through to post-graduate university level.

Online retailing

Lockdown life during 2020 saw the already growing sector of online retail (also known as ecommerce) soar. Any business that wasn’t already online had to move quickly, and customers who hadn’t previously been online discovered a new way to shop.

Online sales are predicted to continue to grow, with an estimated 20% of all retail sales to be done online by 2025. It means that there’ll be a number of skills that will grow in demand, from digital marketing skills right through to managing large warehouses and stock levels. In fact, recent research shows that we will need about 80 new football sized warehouses each year over the next few years to keep up with demand.

Small business

The small business sector is often called the ‘engine room’ of the economy, and it’s no wonder why. One in every four Australians works for a small business, with small businesses responsible for a fifth of all the goods and services produced in Australia. With small businesses playing such a big part of the employment market, it might be worth learning about business to help boost your future employment.

Another option is to become a small business owner yourself. Running a small business is a chance to take control of your future, manage your own time and try something you might not be able to while working for a larger company.

Education to help you get there

At MTC Australia, we provide a range of free training programs to help boost your employability and create a fulfilling life. We can help you get the skills you need for employment or entrepreneurship, giving you the chance to take control of your future and your life.

Here are some of our free programs that can help:

Sector Course
Healthcare and social assistanceCertificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Online retailingCertificate III in Warehousing Operations
Small businessCertificate III in Micro Business Operations
Certificate II in Business
Certificate III in Business

Ready to plan your future?

Interested in developing your communication skills to help you take control of your future? We offer free, personalised programs for people looking to improve their writing, speaking, numeracy or computer skills. Take a look at our SEE/Learn English program or Career Transition Assistance course for more information.