Jobactive: Which industries and careers are best for longevity?

Dannii McCormick is the Tasmanian Regional Manager for yourtown, a service that works in tandem with jobactive to assist young people to find jobs, learn relevant skills and access the necessary resources to succeed in competitive industries. She has some firm predictions on the most important growth sectors for the coming decade – and offers tips on how recruiters can help their clients.

What is jobactive?

There are a whole host of reasons someone may find themselves out of work – whether they don’t have the required qualifications, have been made redundant, or are trying to get back into the workforce after extended leave or injury. But in today’s competitive marketplace, it can be especially difficult for young people to get their foot in the door of full-time work.

That’s where jobactive comes in. McCormick says the labour service provides clients with opportunities no other organisation is able to offer, and works directly with people who may be struggling to find gainful employment.

“Jobactive has the professional scope behind what we’re hearing firsthand in the labour market,” she says. “(At yourtown) we engage with young people on a regular basis and we are able to quickly identify what their strengths and weaknesses are, as well as their personality profile.

“We can then deliver three or four (employment) options that they may not have considered in the past, mainly because they never had those opportunities presented to them.”

The advantages of being a jobactive jobseeker

Jobactive works with independent training organisations that are designed to assist young people in gaining steady employment. They also help clients use their government support benefits for reduced education and licensing courses.

“Given that we are in the labour industry, we are linked to a lot of training organisations,” McCormick says. “So we can make the appropriate referrals regarding the necessary qualifications clients need behind them (to secure employment).

“We also have leverage when it comes to utilising their Centrelink income for reduced course costs. When there’s a skills shortage, we’re the first ones to be notified. If a client isn’t connected to jobactive, they’d never be able to find out about those skills shortages, and the courses and funding opportunities that go with them.”

What will be the major growth industries for the next 10 years?

While nothing is ever set in stone, McCormick’s wealth of experience serves her well to predict the major Australian growth sectors for the coming years.

She says while retail and manufacturing opportunities have waned recently – thanks in part to self-service technologies and offshoring – job opportunities in healthcare, technology and infrastructure will see rapid growth over the coming decade, and particularly in the following sub-sectors:

1. Aged care

“There has been a lot of movement in aged care and disability care in the past year – which will continue – with regards to in-home care and an ageing population that wants to stay at home longer,” McCormick says.

In terms of qualifications, in-home care workers can now acquire a Certificate III in Individual Support and Aged Care, which covers more bases than the ‘blanket’ Certificate III in Aged Care. McCormick says such a qualification can open doors in the booming aged care and disability sectors.

2. Information technology

It might sound counter-intuitive given the ‘tech boom’ hit its stride 10 to 15 years ago, but McCormick advises that organisations are updating their processes to be more tied to new technologies.

“A lot of organisations are now platforming from an IT perspective to improve their customer service experience,” she says. “We will also see a need for more coders and experienced technicians to service various platforms.”

3. Occupational therapy and speech therapy

“There is a lot of focus on early-childhood interventions that are required to assist the youth market,” McCormick says. “We are hearing a lot about kids being on their iPhones and iPads and the impact that has on learning. There’s also a need for more early-childhood educators in schools.”

And thanks to the establishment of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), McCormick says the organisation will play a vital part in improving some of the support-based roles of occupational therapy and speech therapy.

4. Construction and infrastructure

McCormick’s final prediction for growth sectors is construction and infrastructure, which will predictably align with population growth. Most interesting, however, is the part baby boomers will play in that growth.

“What we’re hearing from the labour market is that a lot of infrastructure sectors have an ageing population, with a lot of the baby boomers heading off (into retirement),” she says. “Employers are saying that 20 to 30 per cent of their current workforce are over the age of 50 and they aren’t comfortable they have adequately skilled workers to replace them once they retire.

“That means we expect to see a boom in apprenticeships. Fabrications – for the boating and shipping sector – and welding will be big ones, as well as the typical apprenticeships we’re used to seeing in carpentry and plumbing.”

Jobactive isn’t just for young people

While McCormick focuses on helping young people get their foot in the door of full-time employment, she reiterates that jobactive isn’t only for underprivileged or underqualified youth.

“There are so many reasons why people use jobactive,” she says. “Generational unemployment is something we face – it’s a negative aspect, but it’s a reality. But there are also people who have been working full-time and then been made redundant, for example.

“Unfortunately, the world we live in can sometimes throw the curly-wurlies at us, which we may not be able to anticipate. So in our current economy and the state of business ownership, there are individuals who have previously been very comfortable in their employment but are now being faced with a redundancy.

McCormick urges recruiters to truly get to grips with what their clients want out of their careers and to do their research on the growth sectors for better long-term career opportunities.

“There are lots of opportunities out there for motivated clients,” she says. “They just have to look in the right direction and find the roles that fit with their personality.”

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