Big employers emerge in the post COVID-19 job hunt

AS JOB losses ravage Brisbane and two clear sectors emerge as major employment advertisers an expert reveals the type of training most likely to pay off.

Across Brisbane, there are 4271 jobs advertised on Seek with 635 roles in the information and communication technology sector and 625 healthcare and medical positions.

Other areas offering relatively large numbers of employment opportunities are trades and services with 445 roles, 272 in transport and logistics and 260 in engineering.

The most in-demand ICT workers are developers and programmers with 114 positions, followed by business analysts (75), and program and project management (67).

Nurses are the most wanted healthcare workers, with 217 jobs available - and 99 of them are in aged care.

QUT Professor Paula McDonald said while it was obvious why health and IT were expanding their workforces right now any attempt to change careers should be carefully thought out.

She said the job market was already competitive before COVID-19 and it was difficult to predict what it would do in future.

"It all depends on social distancing rules, how fast the economy can open up, when we get a vaccine, when it's possible to travel again, there's all these coalescing factors that will affect job opportunities for many people," she said.

 

The internet and communication technology sector is the biggest advertiser of jobs in Brisbane right now. Picture: Getty Images
The internet and communication technology sector is the biggest advertiser of jobs in Brisbane right now. Picture: Getty Images

 

"It's not easy to retrain and get a job in another field, in a tight labour market."

She said there might be exceptions to that, like for entry-level health occupations where there were genuine skills shortages.

Prof. McDonald said quality education, including retraining, could be beneficial to employability and personal growth but there were some "caveats to keep in mind".

"Such participation might be particularly appealing to some people who have more time on their hands at the moment," she said.

"Retraining or acquiring a job in a completely different field which you may not have any job experience in could be a good long-term plan.

"But it will have challenges in terms of a solutions to short-term unemployment, especially where the job market is competitive."

 

There are more than 200 jobs for nurses in Brisbane right now. Picture: File
There are more than 200 jobs for nurses in Brisbane right now. Picture: File

 

 

Prof. McDonald said a big factor was the cost versus the benefits and that people should steer clear of doing courses that would result in educational debt with little return.

She said many educational courses were promoted with promises to improve employability but employment was not simply about credentials and skills, but also the realities of the job market.

"So, you can be employable but also unemployed, especially in a very tight job market, which is the case currently," she said.

She added employers generally wanted a combination of qualifications and experience built up over time and candidates would be less attractive with qualifications but no experience.

She suggested if someone enjoyed their field and more education would not result in unwanted debt, it might be the time to upscale their qualifications.

"If you've got a Certificate IV you might think of getting a Graduate Diploma. Or if you've got a graduate diploma, you might want to get a Bachelor's Degree," she said.

 

WHAT SECTORS ARE ADVERTISING JOBS

 

Information and community technology: 635 jobs

Healthcare/medical: 625 jobs

Trades and services: 445 jobs

Manufacturing, transport, logistics: 272 jobs

Engineering: 260 jobs

Originally published as Big employers emerge in the post COVID-19 job hunt


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