Emerging employment opportunities in Brisbane

Ivan Neville at the podium with arms outstretched and talking into a microphone

Ivan Neville addresses the Queensland Metropolitan Region Reference Forum

This story was first published on Friday 14 June 2019. If you wish to use this content, please contact media@dese.gov.au to confirm that the information is still current.

Employment in the Brisbane metropolitan area has grown over the last year, with an additional 10,700 people in work since April 2018 with strong gains in full-time work. While employment has grown in the area, a recent Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business survey reveals that employers are having increasing difficulty recruiting.

Addressing community organisations delivering the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work projects, labour market analyst with the Federal Department of Employment Ivan Neville said that understanding the local jobs market is vital to developing pathways to employment for job seekers.

“Labour markets by their very nature are complex — conditions are constantly changing and vary between the regions,” Ivan said.

“This, of course, impacts on the availability of jobs, pathways to employment, and skills and training needs.

“For example, there are contrasting unemployment rates across the Brisbane metropolitan area — the third largest region in Australia in terms of population— with Brisbane Inner City recording 4.5 per cent, Ipswich in the south-west recording 6.7 per cent and areas such as Richlands and Acacia Ridge both over 15 per cent.”

Ivan further explored the major employment trends that have been occurring in the region, stating that there were well over 18,000 vacancies advertised in April this year.

“Much of the jobs growth in the area over the past 10 years has been in the services sector. Employment in Health Care and Social Assistance is up by 49,700, Education and Training by 14,300 and Accommodation and Food Services by 7,900.

“There has also been a shift to higher skilled jobs and this is expected to continue.”

As more jobs have become available for workers, employers are having increasing difficulty filling their vacancies.

The Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences found that 31 per cent of employers had difficulty recruiting in 2015 and 37 per cent of employers had difficulty recruiting in 2018.

The department’s data also suggests that some groups such as youth, Indigenous and the long-term unemployed have not been able to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the labour market. To that end, qualifications and employability skills are becoming increasingly important to help disadvantaged people find jobs.

“Employability skills are absolutely essential if people looking for work want to land a job,” Ivan says.

“Employability skills are the skills, qualities and attitudes that employers say are essential for their workplace, such as personal presentation, reliability, work ethic and a positive attitude.”

Research[i] shows that employers spend on average only six seconds reading a résumé and 80 per cent on reading the applicant’s name, current position, previous position and education.

“Job applications should look professional, be clear and concise and have no grammatical or spelling errors. They should also be tailored to the position,” Ivan said.

In this year’s Federal Budget, the Australian Government provided more than $525 million for a range of initiatives to further support employers, workers and learners through the Vocational Education and Training sector.

Correct at time of publication.