As we emerge from a tumultuous year that has seen unemployment rates on the rise, we have also seen a number of industries experiencing high growth and facing skills shortages - particularly in healthcare, warehousing, manufacturing, transport and mining. Here we predict 6 of the most in-demand roles in 2021 and the key drivers of these trends.
Warehousing, Storage and Distribution
Ecommerce has experienced an unprecedented boom thanks to the shift in shopping habits from retail to online aided by the pandemic. There was 50% growth in food and personal care items since he prior year with pre-prepared meals being a strong growth sector. Fashion saw similar levels of growth as shoppers became accustomed to online shopping.
With 5% of the overall ecommerce market shopping online for the first time and many others enjoying the convenience during lockdown, it is expected this trend will continue making way for employment growth in the sector.
Warehouse and logistics managers, stock controllers, client service managers, storemen, forklift drivers and pick packers are all in high demand.
Truck and locomotive drivers
This trend has a flow-on effect to truck and locomotive drivers who are also on the list of in-demand roles across the country, especially with a reduced reliance on air freight.
Data from the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council shows that truck traffic is expected to increase by 50% between now and 2030 and rail freight will almost double. It also projects a 150% increase in containers crossing Australia’s wharfs.
Truck drivers and locomotive drivers are in high demand to meet this increasing demand. As approximately 48% of workers in transport and logistics are aged 45 years or older, experts say employers must develop creative ways to attract younger talent to the industry.
According to PWC, roles in automotive trades have been in demand for some time as the industry has experienced a sustained skills shortage. Perhaps due to perceptions of the industry such as preventing apprentices from considering a career in the sector, a growing market with changing skills and a shortage of skilled workers from overseas being limited by restrictions.
There has been a significant increase in the number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the road equipped with complex electrical control panels which is leading to increases in demand for auto electricians.
Electric components account for up to 20% of a cars value versus just 15% in 2015. Ignition, cruise control, fuel injection, air-conditioning and any theft systems all rely on auto electricians for maintenance and servicing. As electricity continues to take a more critical role in the running of these vehicles, this number is set to exponentially increase.
The demand for automotive electricians continues to grow due to increases in commercial vehicles – especially as we see a significant increase in freight and trucking connected to the booming e-commerce and delivery service industries. In the construction industry, civil and commercial construction is on the rise which in turn promotes commercial vehicle purchases and utilisation.
Approximately 12% of all auto electricians work in mining, 7% in manufacturing and 5% in construction where there is a heavy reliance on auto-electricians to service and maintain specialised vehicles on mobile plants, construction and mining sites.
Having inched through a global pandemic it would be no surprise that nursing has been one of the most in-demand roles. Despite the positive outlook on the health front, this trend is set to continue into 2021. Nursing is usually supported by a steady influx of overseas talent however with international borders closed and increased demand for specialist healthcare workers, there is a high number of openings in the market projected to continue through 2021.
According to Ivan Colhoun, Chief Economist at NAB, “Some frontline workers in hospitals and aged care may also be dropping out of the industry because of the strain,” he says.
For employers, determining ways that you can differentiate your employee value proposition is critical. In roles like nursing where there are high demands both physically and mentally, consider creative ways your organisation can offer support or processes to counteract these challenges to avoid workers burning out and fleeing the industry. 2020 has put a greater emphasis on healthcare worker safety which is expected to be a given from any employer in this sector.
Many employers have benefitted from hiring agency staff who have exceeded expectations and offered full-time roles thanks to their high level of competence and capability.
Mining Engineering and Maintenance
The mining industry accounts for 2% of the total workforce and combined with data from the Australian Resources and Energy Group report which predicts the sector will need another 21,000 new workers by 2024, and the mining industry is looking solid for employment prospects.
This increase and future demand has seen mining with engineers topping the list. In Australia, mechanical engineers’ responsibilities include planning, designing, and managing the array of mine site operation, assembly, and maintenance actions. It involves concrete mechanical and process plant equipment used for procurement, refinement, and transportation of minerals. Site engineers, as well as project engineers, fall under this category
Mining engineers manage the whole mining company and plan where to mine. Also, they execute all the mining activities. Some of these include, excavation of land, transporting people and material to and from the underground and machinery usage.
The job of the mechanical engineer is to design, install, and maintain these machines. They even perform other vital services like cooling down the underground mine with refrigeration and ventilation and securing safety for fellow mine workers.
Mining engineers appear to be the most sought after due to a skills shortage from low enrolments at a university level over the last few years. The Future of Work: The Changing Skills Landscape for Miners report by the Minerals Council of Australia says there have been a 67% decrease in mining engineering enrolments compared to eight years ago.
This is also combined with many skilled workers approaching retirement age and a large increase in technology changes in the industry is driving demand higher.
The lack of travellers entering Australia on working holiday visas has is projected to contribute to 26,000 jobs shortfall of labourers in the fruit and vegetable harvest season.In addition, schemes like Job Seeker have made it attractive for labourers to opt out of work in the short term despite unemployment being at 7.5%
Combined with a shortage in the construction industry it is predicted that labourers will be one of the biggest roles in demand in 2021, bricklaying, scaffolding, and the need to perform other manual tasks is driving the trend.
Solutions for finding talent
Trojan Recruitment Group is experienced in sourcing talent in areas of high demand. We can also assist with helping employers raise their employee value proposition retaining top talent.
If you need assistance with hiring, especially for in-demand roles, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.