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What Just Happened? 2021 Career Directions for WA

There are decades where nothing happens; then there are weeks where decades happen.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

For decades girls have struggled to be accepted into trade jobs but participation in traditional male trades stubbornly remains at 1%.

For decades women have fought to break through the glass ceiling but today senior executives in Australia are more likely to be called “Andrew” than be female.

Workers’ pay and conditions have declined over decades, as migrants were imported in great numbers to take on poorly regulated “skills shortage” jobs in aged care and horticulture.

2021 brings the promises of change.

1.     Caring Industries

aged care worker

We learned throughout 2020 that many aged care workers undertake this stressful slog in shifts across a range of sites on pay that is comparable to retail work.

Once borders closed, we had to rely on Australians to undertake this work and the poor pay and conditions became transparent.

Future Directions 

  • Aged Care courses are low cost or free as governments struggle to attract people into the industry. Jobs are plentiful.
  • Aged care workers pay and conditions are under scrutiny as we all realise how badly they impacted on staff and our aged relatives.
  • There are suggestions that the West Australian government buy back aged care centres to ensure quality care is provided by well paid, qualified staff.

2.    Girls are Getting a Go in Trades

girls encouraged into trades

By the time the Careers Expo happened in October the building trade exhibitors were working to attract females into their traditional male occupations. Even the Master Builders Association had a tradie bloke in a pink high viz vest trying to make the building trade appear as if it was now more female friendly.

Future Directions

  • Skills shortages are costing builders money. Builders are willing to take on anyone with a good attitude towards their industry.
  • If you want support to go into one of these traditional male occupations the Department of Communities has a list of organisations that provide help. Look for Organisations that Support Women in STEM and Trades on the government site.

3.     Harvest Woes

apple picking

Late last year I suggested that adventures awaited school leavers who chose to bring in the end of year harvest.

As Australians investigated the work conditions and pay that was being given to the traditional backpacker workforce, they walked away.

While most farmers are good employers, there was a storm of horror stories of harvest workers being ripped off.

Future Directions

The agriculture and horticulture industries are scratching their heads to develop a regime that delivers good pay and conditions adn brings stability to workers.

 4.     Defence Industry in WA

There has been a boom in defence industry opportunities, not only for those directly employed by the industry, but for businesses that are supplying goods and services to defence. The boom has been so significant and wide ranging that the Jobs and Skills Centre site has a special page dedicated to what is happening.

Future Directions

  • A wide range of well-paid and specialist occupations will emerge through this investment.
  • Check out the potential careers through the Jobs and Skills Centre page or through the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre

5.     Agriculture

agriculture arable barley blur

Agriculture continues to struggle to throw off its old fashioned image as it tries to reflect its place as world leading in the production of high quality, clean, traceable food.

Future Directions

Application of Western Australia’s’ specialist and scientific knowledge of dry land farming will see opportunities for the creation of artificial intelligence to guide farming as the impacts of climate change grow.

6.     Mining

abandoned abandoned building architecture building

While mining doesn’t directly employ many people, the flow on impact of mining in Western Australian has seen us become world leaders in mining technology.

Future Directions

There are big opportunities for the development of knowledge industries in Western Australia through mining and through agriculture, defence and health industries.

It is estimated that there will be 3000 data science jobs created in WA in the next decade.

7. What’s an Epidemiologist?

crop chemist holding in hands molecule model

In 2019 I didn’t know what an epidemiologist did. Now I have had enquiries from several clients about epidemiologist careers in WA.

Future Directions

Murdoch is building a new medical research facility adjacent to Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Notre Dame and Murdoch will be working together to train doctors and medical research specialists.

Western Australia has a world class health care industry and future careers in the industry are looking good.

Keep up to date with the latest career news in Western Australia. Subscribe to the Infocus Careers Newsletter as your first step towards linking to a world of insanely great career ideas.

Infocus Careers is an independent organisation which is solely supported by insanely great subscribers who share information with me, support each other and help me to pay my bills.

I can talk about careers under water, so if you would like to chat about how I can help you to improve your career or the services you deliver, give me a ring on 0434056412 or email me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au

Become part of the network of West Australian professionals who are working to deliver the best career support in the world. 

EMAIL: Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au 

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