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Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation

Information on future job opportunities is useful for a range of purposes. It can help students and career advisors make choices about training pathways, and can help policymakers in their long-term planning of the education and training system. This report provides forecasts of job openings by industry and occupation for new entrants to the labour market from 2017 to 2024. These job openings are estimated by accounting for both growth (or decline) in the occupation or industry as well as the replacement needs due to workers leaving the occupation., Key messages: (1) the total number of job openings over the forecast period 2017 to 2024 will be about 516 600 per year (4.1 million in total), with more than half of these resulting from replacement demand; (2) the results show employment continuing to shift towards higher-skill jobs in the labour market, with a slight acceleration in this trend with higher productivity growth; (3) the highest number of job openings, 121 700 per year (973 600 in total), will be in professional occupations; the second highest, 71 300 per year (570 600 in total), will be for managers; these figures reflect the demand in higher skill levels; (4) in some occupations, a high proportion of the job openings is due to replacement demand rather than employment growth; very high replacement demand is seen in occupations with low entry requirements and low wages, which to date have typically attracted young people, who stay in the occupation for short periods; examples due to replacement demand include hospitality workers, checkout operators and cashiers, and food preparation assistants (75.6 per cent, 89.4 per cent and 80.9 per cent); (5) replacement demand is high for occupations with relatively older workforces, a consequence of workers’ proximity to retirement; an example of high retirement-replacement demand includes farmers and farm managers, with 63.3 per cent of the 80 900 job openings (10 100 per year); (6) reasonably high proportions of job openings due to replacement demand are also found amongst technicians and trade workers (for example, 60.4 per cent for bricklayers, carpenters and joiners and 61.1 per cent for automotive electricians and mechanics); this can have training implications – as experienced workers leave, there are fewer available to supervise apprentices; additionally, as apprenticeship training takes time, and completion rates can be low, sufficient recruitment is needed to avoid future shortages; and (7) the analyses demonstrate the importance of considering replacement demand when assessing job openings for new entrants; job openings can reflect future job opportunities; they can also provide a way to assess future training needs where training is required in an occupation.