Updated: May 30
If you're left underemployed or without work after the impacts of COVID, you are not alone. Don't despair, there are still opportunities out there, you just need to know where to look. The employment landscape is evolving, and due to the pandemic, whilst some industries are employing less staff, others are thriving with new career opportunities. This might be a good time to re-assess your options and see where the opportunities lies.
While industries that have been hard hit like hospitality, tourism, aviation and the arts due to the lockdowns, there are many that are still booming and hiring. We’ve put together key industries of growth forecasts to help you make an informed decision about your future:
1. Health Care and Social Assistance
If you want a career that matters, making a difference in people's lives, then the Health Care and Social Assistance industry is one to consider. Regardless of the pandemic crisis or not, healthcare is an essential service. This industry is projected as the largest contribution to employment growth over the next 5 years. With Australia's continued growth of the ageing population, high demands on health services will continue – including healthcare support, suppliers of health equipment and technology services.
Over the past five years, employment in the industry has increased by 19.3%, with projected employment growth (5 years to Nov 2025) is 14.2% (Australian Labour Market Information Portal). Top occupations in employment include registered nurses, aged care services, childcare workers, GPs and welfare support workers.
2. Accommodation and Food Services
This industry includes food retailing and delivery, food product manufacturing and wholesaling. There’s no doubt during the pandemic there was an increased demand for food retail workers and delivery drivers and all the staff associated with packing and working at the warehouse. The large supermarkets increased their staff numbers during the pandemic to keep up with demand. In 2020 Australia experienced the biggest ever monthly rise in retail sales – thanks to all the panic buying, an increase in online sales especially.
The Accommodation and Food Services is one of the largest industries of growth approximately 16.8% (LMIP). Although some staff stepped down during the lockdown, the top occupations of this industry include waiters, kitchen hands, bar attendants, sales assistants, chefs, café & restaurant managers. Many small food businesses and restaurants reverted to takeaway or online deliveries, where a bounce back after lockdown will see this industry continue to grow as people are wanting to be out and about again to socialise, dine out and celebrate.
3. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
This industry is huge with over one million workers and a projected employment growth of 11% (five years to November 2025 according to LMIP) It covers occupations like accountants, software and applications programmers, solicitors, and organisation analysts, advertising and marketing professionals, public relations, advertising and sales managers, ICT support technicians, bookkeepers, graphics and web designers etc.
This large sector includes information technology. As Australians have transitioned to working from home and communicating virtually and online since COVID, the demand for digital software has increased. Activities like online delivery of goods and services, remote learning, tele health, cyber security, virtual reality etc. all make up part of the increased demand in IT technology and services. Demand for Information and Communications Technology workers (according to Deloitte) will continue to grow by almost 100,000 to 758,700 workers by 2023.
4. Education and Training
Molding and shaping young minds of the future is an important career. The changes in government funding with an increased demand for quality teachers, the pivot to more remote/online learning and teaching since the pandemic, demographic and labour trends will continue to influence the Education and Training industry’s performance over the next five years. Projected employment growth of five years to November 2025 is 10.8% (LMIP).
Top occupations in this industry include primary and secondary school teachers, teachers aids, university lecturers/tutors, early childhood teachers, vocational education teachers and special education teachers. A relatively large share of workers are aged 55 years or older, which suggests retirements will create employment opportunities in this industry over the next decade.
5. Transport, postal and warehousing
During the pandemic, truck, courier and postal delivery drivers had the critical task of moving essential goods and packages across the country as they were considered as essential services. Australia’s increased demand in online shopping and deliveries means an increased employment in this industry with companies like Australia Post hiring additional workers.
Over the past five years, employment in the industry is projected to increase by 6.6 per cent (LMIP). The top 10 occupations within this industry include truck drivers, automobile drivers, couriers and postal delivery drivers, store persons, bus and construction drivers. In Feb 2021, according to the ABS, this industry ranks the 5th highest number of job vacancies by industries approx. 267,000.
While things are a little uncertain in the employment scene, what you can do as a job seeker is use this time to be savvy and upskill, undertake training or courses to prepare for post-COVID as there will be opportunities that follow. Companies are more flexible and agile than ever, looking for staff that has new sets of skills (especially digital), and an innovate and fresh approach to solving problems. Being adaptable, creative, emotionally intelligent and technologically savvy will ensure you will be highly sought after by employers. If you are re-assessing your career, thinking about a career change, and looking for a great future career, speak to one of our dedicated career counsellors for an in-depth discussion.