ECTs named in resilient occupations list of Australia’s post COVID-19 workforce
Research recently published by the National Skills Commission (NSC) into the shape of Australia’s workforce as we emerge from COVID-19 has shown that early childhood teachers (ECTs) will continue to be in demand, and more so than early childhood education and care (ECEC) managers or educators as Australia’s workforce emerges from COVID-19.
The shape of Australia’s post COVID-19 workforce is the second major report by the NSC, providing an update on recent Australian labour market developments and publishing two major NSC research projects – development of a resilient occupations framework and analysis of four recovery scenarios.
According to the research, the future shape of the Australian workforce may not change significantly, even with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19. Pre-existing trends, such as increased digitisation and a shift to higher skilled jobs are likely to continue.
The resilient occupations framework ranks the relative strength of 358 occupations as the economy recovers from the initial impacts of COVID-19, while the four recovery scenarios identify the potential impact of the pandemic across industries and occupations to 2025.
Scores within the framework are based on three components:
- Pre pandemic employment growth expectations according to the National Skills Commission’s most recent employment projections
- COVID-19 employment shock accounting for the changes in employment, hours worked and vacancies from February to the lowest subsequent point observed in the relevant data series
- COVID-19 labour demand recovery so far according to the overall change in vacancies between February 2020 and the most recent available observation in the vacancy series
Each occupation is assigned a score out of five for each component. The overall score is a summation across the three components and occupations with an overall score of 11 or higher are considered to be resilient.
ECTs emerged in the framework with an overall score of 13, signifying a resilient career path. Child care centre managers were scored at 10, as were child carers. In the ‘other education managers’ category, a resilience score of 20 was recorded.
Both areas of research suggest occupations that were performing well before COVID-19 – including health, education and professional services – are expected to dominate growth, and that jobs are likely to continue to become more highly skilled.
National Skills Commissioner Adam Boyton said the NSC’s analysis of labour market data shows cause for a ‘cautiously optimistic’ outlook on Australia’s jobs recovery.
“Ultimately, the message from this report is that while there will undoubtedly be lasting changes as a result of COVID-19, these may not be as dramatic as might have been expected,” he said.
While the broad distribution of occupations across the economy may not, in fact, change that much. What might change, however, is how we do those jobs, he added.
The report also underscores the importance of education and training – of all types – in helping to shape Australia’s post-COVID-19 workforce.
“By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian labour market – and opportunities for effective policy responses – we stand the best chance of getting more people back to work”, Mr Boyton said.