Job hunting? If you’re looking for work as a teacher, property lawyer, truckie or mental health professional you’re in luck, writes Leah McLennan.

Despite the unemployment rate being expected to rise above the current 5.8 per cent this year, the outlook in certain industries is better than it has been for years, says Jane McNeill, director of recruiting group Hays.

“There’s definitely more positive sentiment than there was a year ago,” McNeill says.

There are still pockets of skills shortages, most notably in accountancy, insurance, sales and IT. A strong residential housing market has also created opportunities for valuers, architects, drafters and property lawyers.

Teachers are also in luck. There’s a shortage of quality candidates available for secondary school teaching positions in the subjects of maths, science, English and design and technology.

The ageing population and longer life expectancies are spurring a wide range of health care-related jobs, with vacancies for mental health workers, medical device sales representatives and nurses.

Employers in 2014 want to hire people with an ability to learn, says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia. “It’s not just about finding the right skills and experience and matching cultural fit anymore,” he says.

“Today the ideal candidate also has a desire to learn and the aptitude to do so. Job seekers should prepare examples of how they’ve updated their skills in the past to the benefit of employer.”

It is not just the ageing employee that needs to reinvent themselves. At the other end of the scale, the tech-savvy Gen Y graduates armed with university degrees and keen to work are struggling to get that first break. They may need to consider undertaking internships and volunteering to get that foot in the door.

On the bright side, cottage industries are in demand – housekeeping, lawn mowing, dog grooming; and there’s jobs that haven’t even been invented yet! Your challenge – how do you reinvent yourself or show you have valuable skills?


• Truck drivers
• Early childhood teachers
• Secondary teachers of maths, science, English, design and technology
• Payroll officers
• Management accountants
• Architects/drafters with revit software skills
• Mortgage administrators
• Senior design engineers
• Registered nurses
• Mental health professionals (therapists, counsellors, psychologists, etc)
• IT project managers
• Life insurance claims assessors
• Career paralegals
• Financial services and property lawyers
• Mining engineers
• Retail planners
• Marketing managers
• Skilled labourers


• Secretaries*- renamed personal assistants in some cases
• Receptionists
• Recycling and rubbish collectors*
• Safety inspectors*
• Photographic developers and printers*
• Switchboard operators*
• Retail staff
• Book editors and print journalists
• Telephone operators – leave a message or respond to the voice recognition software
• Post office workers – automated and reduced services with the advent of email
• Travel agents – online bookings are clicking away
• Jobs roles taken over by the internet

Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre – examining Australian Census Data between 2006 and 2011.