Finance Work How to prepare for the job market of the future

How to prepare for the job market of the future

manual labour worker
Job prospects for manual skills "weak", new report says. Photo: Getty
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The days of settling on a dream job for life are gone, a new report has warned.

Australians should instead be building transferable skills in one of seven job ‘clusters’, the Foundation for Young Australians wrote on Thursday.

Three of these skill clusters, labelled by the report as ‘Carers‘, ‘Informers‘ and ‘Technologists‘, will be most in demand in coming years, according to the foundation.

jan owen foundation for young australians
Foundation for Young Australians CEO Jan Owen says career advisers need to start giving students different advice to prepare them for the future of work. Photo: AAP

“This report shows our mindset needs to shift to reflect a more dynamic future of work where linear careers are less likely to exist and young people will need a portfolio of skills and capabilities, including career management skills, to navigate multiple roles within a jobs cluster,” the foundation’s CEO, Jan Owen, said in a statement.

“By shifting our focus from jobs to skills and capabilities and understanding the most portable and in demand skills in the new economy, young people can work to equip themselves with the right portfolio of skills.”

The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) is a non-profit organisation that advocates for youth affairs.

To identify the seven ‘clusters’, the FYA analysed 2.7 million online job advertisements using a computer algorithm.

Not only should Australians aim for clusters rather than one dream job, they should also be mindful of the very real risk of picking a group of skills that doesn’t suit their interests – or won’t be in demand, according to the report.

“This new data shows that not all the job clusters will have strong future prospects, which may drive unemployment and inequality,” Ms Owen said.

“Young people need accurate information to help them make decisions about which job clusters they are most suited to and where they are likely to have most longevity.”

Here are the seven job ‘clusters’ identified in the report.

‘Carers’ (strong prospects)

nurse doctor health care
Health care professionals make the majority of the ‘Carers’ cluster. Photo: Getty

“The Carers cluster comprises jobs that seek to improve the mental or physical health or well-being of others, including medical, care and personal support services,” the report noted.

The 131 occupations currently in this job cluster include GPs, social workers, childcare workers, fitness instructors, surgeons, counsellors and beauty therapists, according to the FYA.

Portable skills in this cluster include:
– first aid
– cleaning
– occupational health and safety
– data entry
– case management
– clinical experience
– psychology

‘Informers’ (strong prospects)

school teacher
School teachers may be well-placed to switch into other professional fields, such as law and human resources, according to the report. Photo: Getty

This cluster involves professionals providing information, education or business services, according to the FYA report.

Its 142 occupations include school teachers, economists, intelligence officers, accountants, policy analysts, solicitors and human resource advisers.

Portable skills in this cluster include:
– writing
– prioritising tasks
– communication and presentation skills
– problem solving
– critical thinking
– maths
– economics
– Microsoft Excel
– computer skills
– data and financial analysis
– report writing
– curriculum development

‘Technologists’ (strong prospects)

coder computer
Technologists have strong employment prospects. Photo: Getty

This cluster requires digital technology skills, and includes programmers, software engineers, database administrators, web designers and ICT business analysts.

Occupations include programmers, software engineers, web developers and web designers.

Portable skills in this cluster include:
– website development
– Java coding
– Adobe Photoshop skills
– project management

‘Generators’ (moderate prospects)

salesman on phone
‘Generators’ are good at generating sales. Photo: Getty

This cluster requires a high level of interpersonal interaction.

It is closely linked to the retail, sales, hospitality and entertainment sectors.

Occupations include sales representatives, retail supervisors, cafe managers, hotel managers, bank managers, entertainers, interpreters and airline ground crew.

Portable skills include:
– business development
– sales support
– managing sales and customer relationships
– contract management
– store management
– merchandising
– stock control
– digital literacy

‘Designers’ (moderate prospects)

geologists engineers
Geologists and engineers have plenty of skills in common, the FYA report found. Photo: Getty

“The Designers cluster comprises jobs that involve deploying skills and knowledge of science, mathematics and design to construct or engineer products or buildings,” according to the FYA report.

Occupations include engineers, architects, geologists and project administrators.

Portable skills include:
– construction management
– planning
– process improvement
– problem solving
– cost management
– project management
– organisational skills
– inspection
– quality assurance
– computer-aided design
– collaboration
– presentation skills
– detail-oriented

‘Artisans’ (weak prospects)

construction worker
Workers good with their hands, like those in construction, face increasing threats from automation, the report found. Photo: Getty

This cluster requires manual skills, and is linked closely to the construction, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, utilities, logistics and technical customer service sectors.

Occupations include machinery operators, landscape gardeners, electricians, farm workers, plumbers and carpenters.

Portable skills include:
– workplace health and safety
– machinery operation
– first aid
– forklift operation
– hand and power tools operation
– welding
– plumbing
– carpentry

‘Coordinators’ (weak prospects)

Receptionists and other ‘coordinators’ have weak employment prospects in coming years, FYA warned. Photo: Getty

“The Coordinators cluster comprises jobs that involve repetitive administrative and behind-the-scenes process or service tasks,” according to the FYA report.

Jobs in the cluster involves repetitive administrative and behind-the-scenes processes and service tasks.

These occupations include bookkeepers, printers, fast food cooks, bus drivers, furniture removalists, law clerks, receptionists and car park attendants.

Portable skills include:
– data entry
– contract management
– word processing
– invoicing
– food safety
– cooking

Read the full report here:

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