By Ron Maxwell - CEO
We've long talked about the importance of continuous learning, and now with the employment challenges presented by COVID-19, it's more important than ever. If you have found yourself wondering whether your career is the right one for you, or whether your industry will hold job prospects as we enter recovery, you're not alone.
Whether you are just starting out in your career, midway through, or a mature-aged worker, there are options out there that can help you upskill or reskill to future-proof your career. With National Careers Week upon us, it's a great time to have the conversation, so if you are thinking about what's next in your career, here are some tips and resources to get you started.
Increase your skills and qualifications
Well before COVID-19 our labour market was changing, and the challenges presented by the pandemic have accelerated and escalated that process. One trend that we are seeing across the board is that employers are increasing their expectations around skill level and educational attainment.
We are even seeing the Australian Government take a serious look at diploma-level apprenticeships. Common in Germany and many other countries, diploma-level apprenticeships ensure apprentices are equipped with the skills to work with increasingly advanced equipment in a digital world.
Many workers in the industries that have been hit hard, such as hospitality and retail, they may not have formal qualifications, and this can make it more difficult to negotiate a competitive job market. Whatever your career stage, it is important that you continue to develop your skills and attain qualifications so that you can meet changing employer needs in your industry or a new one.
Whether you are looking to transition to a whole new career or upskill in your existing one to take on new challenges, online training can get you started today, regardless of current restrictions. VERTO has recently increased the number of course we offer online to meet the increasing demand, as more workers consider their future.
Additionally, many course fees are covered for you under government funding schemes, so you can explore your options without worrying about your budget.
Explore options that align with your passions
Many people don’t realise that there are over 500 apprenticeship occupations, open to Australians of any working age, and they range from media and arts to engineering and traditional trades. Starting out as an apprentice can see you become a cake decorator, beer brewer, aircraft engineer or winemaker, to name just a few.
And they are not just for school leavers. Many employers are realising the benefit of mature-aged apprentices because they bring a wealth of workplace skills and life experience that can't be taught in a classroom.
While it's true that you might need to adjust your wage expectations while you are studying, you are building a whole new career path and set of skills that will set you up in a new industry. In response to a growing need, VERTO recently launch CareerGate, an online tool that allows you to find apprenticeship careers that align with your skills and interests, and even apply for vacancies in your area. It's fast, easy to use and free, so if you are considering your options, it can be a great way to get started.
Look to the National Skills Needs List
If you are keen to find a career that is likely to have excellent job prospects into the future, the National Skills Needs List is the place to go. There are a wide range of industries and jobs on the list, all of which will need an abundance of qualified workers in the coming years. Qualifying in one of these areas will put you ahead of the pack when you enter the job market, because you'll have skills that are in high demand.
Additionally, because these are areas the Australian Government has identified as lacking in our economy, these qualifications can often attract additional support and subsidies to increase participation.
Find programs targeted to your needs
If you are a mature-aged worker looking for work or seeking a new career, it can feel like there are additional barriers, but there is help out there. We work with employers across the country, and we see the benefits mature-aged workers can bring to a business, from life experience and interpersonal skills to loyalty and dedication.
If you are in this category and feel that you need extra support, government-funded programs like Skills Checkpoint and Career Transition Assistance are designed for you. These supportive programs can help you fill skill gaps, increase your digital literacy and find the job that's right for you. Additionally, Career Transition Assistance has a strong focus on building the core skills you need to find long-term employment.