School Leavers Encouraged to Further Education Despite CCP Virus Pandemic: Report

School Leavers Encouraged to Further Education Despite CCP Virus Pandemic: Report
A woman walks past signage for Australian universities in Melbourne's central business district on June 10, 2020, as Australian officials and leading universities rejected China's claims students should be "cautious" in choosing to study Down Under because of concerns over racist incidents during the coronavirus pandemic. (William West/AFP via Getty Images)

School leavers looking to secure their future in Australia in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic should look into further learning opportunities as it has not affected the jobs sector as much as previously thought, the National Skills Commissioner Adam Boyton has said.

The advice comes as the National Skills Commission released a new report (pdf) on the shape of Australia’s post-pandemic workforce.

Boyton told The Epoch Times that the pandemic appeared not to be as dramatic as first believed.

“The biggest piece of advice I would have for year 12 students is to consider continuing their education, either through the VET sector or University,” Boyton said.

Boyton noted that the commission’s report found that while the broad distribution of occupations across the economy may not alter as such, there will be lasting changes as a result of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus (novel coronavirus).

“Where we see possible structural changes, they tend to be those that were already underway pre-COVID-19 such as the increased digital presence in our economy and the need for post-secondary qualifications,” Boyton said.

In particular, Boyton pointed to the tech sector as one that Australia will rely on increasingly. The report indicated people would change how they do their jobs, with businesses relying more on “technology to help employees connect and collaborate.”

The report, which looked into what jobs would be the most resilient to the changes from the pandemic, developed a resilient occupations framework that ranked 358 professions.

The report identified health care, social assistance, education and training, construction, and mining as the economic sectors that had best withstood the impact of the CCP virus pandemic.

In particular, the report projected that from 2020 to 2025 health care, social assistance, and education and training would be the highest growth sectors for employment with professional, scientific, and technical services coming in third.

The Commission also noted that despite the report declaring the mining sector would be the smallest growth sector in the long-term, labour market data indicated the sector showed strong growth.

Employment and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash said the report gave assurances to Australians that their training had not gone to waste.

“Given the disruption in the labour market caused by COVID-19, knowing that the job you are training for now will still be there in the future is critical for all Australians and our future prosperity,” Cash said. “The list of resilient jobs also provides for a mix of training requirements, which means Australians can train for them in the short and long term.”

Cash also noted the report indicated that skills and vocational education and training (VET) was still relevant to actual labour market demand and noted the government had focused on reforming the VET sector by investing $7 billion this year.

“We have made the necessary changes to the VET sector to ensure the training that Australians are undertaking is relevant and fit for purpose,” she said.

Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australian based reporter who focuses on national politics and the geopolitical environment in the Asia-pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.
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