Over your lifetime, you'll experience 17 different jobs and five careers, according to a report by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA).
Young people today have more power than ever to shape their own future. While work has traditionally been thought of as a transaction of an employee's time and effort for money, young people like yourself are increasingly defining themselves as their own enterprise. In 2019, break away from being just another cog in the machine and chase a future where you're at the centre of your own life.
A large part of this will be the idea of a portfolio career – a lifelong career built up of new ventures, unique experience and positive change. To this end, transferable skills are of greater value to young people now than ever before.
That begs the question – how can you ensure you're gaining real, transferable skills that will successfully propel you into career after career? The answer lies in vocational education and training (VET) qualifications and service sectors like hospitality, events and cookery.
In this article, we'll examine:
- The future of work and skills for young Australians.
- What transferable skills are.
- Transferable skills for event management students.
- Career options for hospitality management students.
- Commercial cookery career options and transferable skills.
What does the future hold for young Australians' career options?
From driverless cars to automated marketing, the world of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things is expanding at a rate where as much as 40 per cent of the current Australian labour market could be replaced by computers in the next couple of decades, according to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. Low-skill jobs that involve a large amount of repetition and minimal social interaction, creativity, mobility and dexterity are the most at risk. However, as innovations progress, higher level jobs are due to change significantly in the wake of automation.
For this reason, the development of hard and soft skills is vital to young Australians today. Creativity and communication will be more important than ever, enabling flexibility and adaptability in careers.
Also noteworthy is our ageing population. Workforce participation for people over 65 is projected to increase from 12.9 per cent in 2015 to 16.9 per cent by 2034-35, according to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). This means ages in the workplace will vary more significantly, and younger people will do well to build strong communication skills during their education in order to navigate a more diverse workforce.
Lastly, the arrival of the peer-to-peer employment market through technological platforms such as Freelancer and Upwork means that more people are engaging in a more independent and mobile style of work. Free time has become a way to practice new skills or gain additional income, and flexibility is becoming a particularly strong advantage for the ambitious worker.
What are transferable skills?
Transferable skills are abilities which allow you to thrive in more than one occupation. These may be both technical skills such as data entry or financial management, or soft skills like communication.
As jobs change in response to the rise of automation and more workers find value in independent employment, transferable skills will allow people to access a greater variety of jobs and career options.
A report by the FYA brilliantly describes the value of transferable skills as follows:
"When a person trains or works in one job, they acquire skills for 13 other jobs on average."
This is based on the high overlap of skills between jobs within different "clusters". For example, someone who is trained in hospitality gains relationship and customer service skills which can be directly transferred to a job in sales without the need to retrain, because it's considered part of the same cluster ("The Generators" cluster). However, that's not to say there isn't overlap across clusters as well. The report defines "enterprise skills" as those that are commonly sought across all job clusters.
What skills will be vital to maximise young Australians' career options?
To achieve a life full of exciting career options and variety, you need to build those highly transferable enterprise skills. The FYA report lists the following enterprise skills across clusters:
- Customer service (external to a business).
- Organisational skills.
- Interaction skills (internal to a business).
- Problem solving.
- Project management.
How these skill sets look within each cluster may vary, but the point is that developing a strong foundation of enterprise skills may enable you to more easily transition into new roles, work in different industries and build a highly varied, thrilling career portfolio.
It's worth noting that entrepreneurship and lifelong learning are also highly valuable to young people, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. These skills allow you to create your own career pathways by encouraging demand for new skills and pushing innovation. They're also among many non-automatable skills
All this begs the question: Where do you start?
The answer is: With real skills learned via VET training. The right VET qualification allows you to pursue your passions and equip yourself for an immediate entry to the workforce, thereby helping you continue to build valuable enterprise skills.
Let's examine how Kenvale's hospitality, event management and commercial cookery VET programmes prepare you for a variety of career options.
Career options: Event management qualifications
It's easy to assume that training in event management only equips you to work within the events sector. However, the sheer volume of transferable skills within event management might surprise you.
Chasing a career in events while you're young means you can make the most of your energy and many of the industry's benefits. Experience travel opportunities and incredible events throughout the world now, and later move into other sectors.
Event organisers are considered part of the "Informer" cluster by the FYA. That means the skills of an event manager lie in the same wheelhouse as recruiters, marketing specialists, journalists and market researchers. The same source indicates that this cluster is expected to enjoy strong growth in the future as more informational roles become highly valued.
Career options: Hospitality management qualifications
Hospitality managers have extremely vital skills that will transfer directly into sales roles in the growing tech sector, according to the FYA report. Managerial roles in hotels, cafes and restaurants are predicted to enjoy strong growth and are less at risk of automation.
You also have to consider how hospitality management enables you to build valuable enterprise skills. Customer service skills enable you to thrive in sales, travel attendant or clerical positions, while organisational ability can transfer into a variety of job functions across all sectors.
Read our blog post about the hard and soft skills gained in a hospitality management qualification for more information on these infinitely transferable life skills.
Career options: Commercial cookery qualifications
The food service sector is predicted to grow more than any other up to May 2023, according to the Department of Jobs and Small Business. Chefs will represent 16,800 of the new roles created. This means there's huge potential for commercial cookery students to thrive in the short-term. Beyond that, chefs can enjoy careers here or abroad as the skill set is highly transferable across cultural and economic borders.
There's also great potential for employment as a chef outside of the hospitality industry, with the booming aged care sector gaining interest in highly trained chefs.
Peter Tudehope, General Manager of Raddison Blu told Kenvale's managing director Anne Zahra that he's lost great chefs to the aged care sector. With more private aged care facilities, there'll be more jobs and greater earning potential for many young chefs. Currently, the average salary for an aged care chef in Australia sits around $60,000, but the most experienced candidates could earn as much as $90,000, according to Neuvoo.
When it comes time to move on from the kitchen, chefs can bring their rigid discipline and passion into other fields including sales, education and management roles.
Your career isn't a fixed thing – it can change and grow as you do. You shouldn't limit yourself to one pathway – but seek to learn real skills that enable you to navigate the future workforce as you please. Unlock your future with a VET qualification at Kenvale College today.