Higher-skilled jobs will dominate the Australia’s future employment market with ICT professionals expected to be in strong demand.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research has released its Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation report which forecasts Australia’s future job openings by occupation and industry.

It identifies the total number of job openings will increase by 516,600 each year until 2024, resulting in 4.1 million new jobs by 2024.

The report presents two scenarios – the ‘most likely scenario’ and the ‘high productivity scenario’.

The most likely scenario is modelled on historic paths and predicts GDP to increase by 2.7% per year, while the high-productivity scenario assumes productivity makes an additional contribution of 0.4% to GDP growth.

Under the most likely scenario, there is a forecasted year-on-year change of 2.5% from 2016 to 2024 for ICT managers.

ICT network and support professionals (2.4%), ICT security specialists (2.2%) and system analysts (2.6%) will all see similar growth.

“The largest growth will be in professional, scientific and technical services, with employment increasing by almost a quarter, or 244 000, to 2024,” the report states.

This equates to year-on-year growth of 2.8% which the report highlights is a drop from the recent 3.2% growth in this sector.

It is also predicted that changes in technology will drive a restructuring of the job market.

“Changes in technology, such as the use of machines or software, have the potential to increase worker productivity so that the same amount of work requires fewer or no workers.”

It points out that the changes technology brings in one industry will have a “ripple effect” in another as demand for specific roles shifts.

A skills imbalance?

The report analyses the steadiness of the future job market, identifying ‘imbalances’ between supply and demand for certain skills.

It states that while skills imbalances will always exist when it comes to employment, identifying them can minimise the impact.

“Skills mismatches… occur when the current skills of existing workers do not match the skills required in jobs,” it states.

“Skills shortages can be a cause of a skills mismatch when employers hire workers without the required skills for jobs because appropriately skilled workers are unavailable.”

NBN technicians

Ever since it was first mentioned in 2007, the completion date for Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) has continually been stretched back.

Currently, NBN Co claims it is on-track to complete the multi-technology mix network by 2020, however this is still subject to change.

And while the delayed roll-out has been the subject of extensive controversy, the report has revealed that the delay will increase demand for ICT and telecommunications technicians.

“Employment for technicians and trades workers will grow at below-average rate (1.6% per year),” he said.

“However, the demand generated through the rollout of the NBN will mean strong demand for ICT and telecommunications technicians (2.2% per year).”