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What are the ‘jobs of the future’?

According to the government’s Skill Priority List, the ‘jobs of the future’ that are expected to remain hot in demand are:

  • Construction managers
  • Civil engineering professionals
  • Early childhood teachers
  • Registered nurses
  • ICT (information and communications technology) business and systems analysts
  • Software and applications programmers
  • Electricians
  • Chefs
  • Child carers
  • Aged and disability carers

They’re described as a “mixed bag” of professions by Pi-Shen Seet, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University.

Professor Seet said Australia has had a long history of both training domestic workers and using skilled migration to fill gaps in various industries, and it largely depended on supply and demand.

Skilled migration a ‘short-term solution’

One of the invitees expected to attend the jobs summit is Christine Holgate, former chief executive of Australia Post, who argued that migration is only a temporary, quick fix for the problem that Australia currently faces.

“I think short term, some skilled migrant workers probably do need to be the solution. Because … for the roles for our industry, you actually have to be skilled,” she told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

Ms Holgate called on maximising Australia’s existing population to fill skills shortages through education and training rather than migration.

While the country’s unemployment rate sits at a historic 3.4 per cent low, there are 1.8 million people in Australia who are looking for work but couldn’t because they are caring for their children.

“If we relied too heavily on skilled immigration, we won’t turn around and look at the men and women in this country who actually are working part-time,” she said.

“I think what’s really required is a long-term commitment to training and education, and that probably starts at schools.”

Professor Seet said it’s an indication of how critical the jobs summit is – to iron out the wrinkles in Australia’s labour industry and continue to be an attractive country for skilled migrants to consider.

“The jobs and skills summit is one of those platforms that actually need everybody to work together,” he said.

“Employers need to work with unions, states need to work with states, the federal government needs to be a good player to make sure people work together to put together something that works for both Australians as well as for migrants to make it just as attractive.”