Uncertain future, but Educational Level & Skills Attainment Continue to be Emphasised

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The future in a rapidly changing world of work is taking us into increasingly uncertain times and difficulties for career advice. Long term predictions are probably useless, or at least of limited value. Nevertheless, there are some predictable factors for career guidance and planning. Chief amongst these are education, skills formation, and awareness of contemporary job trends.

The Australian Government Department of Employment just released (11 August 2015) its five year employment outlook. Amongst other things it predicts Health Care and Social Assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth (up by 258,000 or 18.7 per cent), followed by Education and Training (142,700 or 15.6 per cent), Construction (137,900 or 13.0 per cent), and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (136,600 or 14.4 per cent). Together, these four industries are projected to provide more than half of the employment growth to November 2019.
On the other hand the largest fall across all sectors is projected for Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Part Manufacturing (down by 23,800 or 47.5 per cent), following the announced plant closures by major car manufacturers. Employment is projected to decline for a number of Mining related sectors, with the largest declines projected for Metal Ore Mining (7,600 or 13.4 per cent), Coal Mining (7,300 or 17.1 per cent) Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (6,500 or 8.3 per cent), Other Mining Support Services (6,400 or 25.2 per cent) and Exploration (5,500 or 22.0 per cent). Employment in Central Government Administration is also projected to record one of the largest falls over the period (4,900 or 4.6 per cent).
For the full report click here.

The Australian Department of Employment notes that the attainment of educational qualifications remains important given the strong past and projected growth of higher skilled occupations, as well as the lower unemployment rates recorded for people with higher qualifications.
See Employment Projections here.
The Department’s website goes on to say that over the past few decades the Australian economy has continued to shift away from lower skilled jobs towards a higher skilled, service based economy.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) classifies occupations according to five skill levels commensurate with the following qualification(s):
Skill level 1: Bachelor degree or higher qualification
Skill level 2: Advanced Diploma or Diploma
Skill level 3: Certificate IV or III (including at least two years on-the-job training)
Skill level 4: Certificate II or III
Skill level 5: Certificate I or secondary education

Importantly these correspond to the Career Voyage Levels, and these are of critical significance in career planning.

Looking ahead, the evolution of the labour market towards higher skilled occupations looks set to continue over the five years to November 2019, with employment growth projected to be strongest, in percentage terms, among the two highest skill levels. This highlights the importance of educational attainment not only for those in the workforce looking for career advancement, but also for potential first time labour market entrants looking to improve their employment prospects.

Department of Employment’s 2015 projected employment growth by occupational group – five years to November 2019 (‘000)
Projected employment growth by occupational group