Trends Affecting Services Industry Employment Growth 

With advances in technology changing the nature of work and the skills required to support the Australian economy, it’s important to stay one step ahead and ensure that our education and training systems are growing with our students. Innovation is a fundamental element in securing future success for the service industries, and because of it there are growing trends already affecting the employment landscape.

To ensure your students and graduates are guided in making sound decisions when it comes to planning for their future, here are the facts when it comes to current employment trends and how they’re predicted to affect service industries.

Unprecedented jobs growth in five industries

In the next five years, it has been predicted that two-thirds of all new jobs in Queensland will come from just five industries.

  • Health care and social assistance 
  • Professional, scientific and technical services 
  • Education and training 
  • Tourism and hospitality 
  • Construction 

According to the Australia Institute’s Jobs Growth in Queensland: Trends and Prospects 2016 report, health care and social assistance is already the largest employer in the state of Queensland, employing more than 300,000 people. It has predicted an unprecedented growth of 57,000 new jobs by November 2019 – that’s an increase of more than 10%.

This trend reflects the significant changing economic context associated with the end of the mining construction boom and shapes future job growth in the state, with more than one in five of all new jobs projected to come from the health and social assistance industry alone.

It’s clear to see that the needs of the services industry are growing at a rapid pace and it’s crucial to keep VET students, especially graduates, on track to succeed in their chosen fields. They need to be guided in how to address emerging challenges and capitalising on any, and all, opportunities.

Automation the way of the future

Because of technology advancement, and the speed at which it is growing, some 40% of Australia’s current jobs are considered at high risk of automation over the next 10 to 15 years. The Foundation for Young Australian’s The New Work Order 2015 has reported that young Australians are not being trained in the jobs that will survive this trend.

Only 60% are being trained in occupations where the majority of jobs will be affected, but the report also suggests that if the focus is on VET students aged 25 and under, this number will rise to 71%.

Demand is growing for VET graduates who are competent in computer use, mathematics, engineering and technology design, and who have critical thinking and communication skills. Technological changes are expected to create an increasing demand for workplace learning that complements formal skills training, so investment in training will improve productivity and create a more innovative workforce.

Despite the move forward with automation, the VET sector needs to be prepared to adjust and adapt to the industry’s future needs through the delivery of training that is responsive to new technologies. Flexible and digital delivery of training will become increasingly important to respond to the evolving expectations of students, industry and community.

Higher employment for those with VET qualification

It’s important to note that about 81% of those who have completed a VET qualification are employed, according to the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2015 paper. But to keep the trend moving forward, a VET sector that is innovative, responsive and robust is the only way to continue producing highly skilled and sought-after employable graduates.

This means VET providers will need to prepare for the future by building even closer ties with employers and industry, invest in up-to-date learning materials, and attract teachers, trainers and assessors who can prepare students for the future.

VET graduates earn more

The trend is moving away from those with a university degree earning higher salaries. A study by Skilling Australia Foundation released in May (2017) found VET graduates not only had a higher employer rate at 78% than university graduates (69%), but that they were earning as much or more money.

The research also revealed VET graduates had a higher success rate, as high as 92% when it came to finding work.

The VET sector has a pivotal role to play in preventing skills shortages in the services industry and it is up to the ability of those who train students to ensure they are provided with the skill sets required for the jobs of the future. There is significant opportunity to sure up the state’s future, and the nation’s, by investing in the next generation of service industry employees and supporting them with the right tools.