Our job market is constantly evolving - responding to the global economy and technological developments, as well as the changing needs and trends of our society. As industries change, companies come and go, expand and shrink. Stable institutions disappear while new ones emerge, becoming employers of the future.
For many people, this is a bitter pill to swallow as doors are literally closed on once-prosperous companies. What has been a source of personal and regional pride disappears, and it leaves behind employees who have committed their lives to develop skills that may no longer be relevant.
Yet, change brings new opportunities that rise from the skills of the old. Traditional industries are developed, sometimes involving cutting-edge technologies to find new ways of doing things. Knowledge and skills are changed and developed, rarely lost completely. While brand new industries are created, the sad truth is that others will naturally decline and come to an end.
Growth and development of new technologies rapidly drives change in unexpected ways. In the last 30 years, technology has changed the way we interact with each other, and improved the speed in which things happen-it has even morphed the work environment itself. Society wants new, ‘better’ products and services; we want things now and at the best price, but keeping up with these fast paced changes isn't easy.
Recent global financial challenges have seen companies make difficult decisions about the way in which they operate and how things are done, in response to how we spend our money. While in some cases this had led to the loss of jobs (and companies employing people in different ways) we are now returning to more positive and secure times.
What we hope to see over the next decade is a steady increase in all vacancies, but employers are changing their expectations. They often have fewer middle level jobs and expect higher levels of training and qualifications for entry level jobs which may not be permanent or ongoing. More than ever, it is important we each develop specialist knowledge and skills to supplement our experience in order to access higher paid roles.
Construction and manufacturing will always be unpredictable, while other sectors like Business, Finance, Hospitality and Health and Social Care will remain stable and likely to see an increase in the number of vacancies. Opportunities within Public Sector roles will continue to be tightly managed for some time to come and roles are no longer dependably secure. Technology related industries will see strong growth, particularly in telecommunications. Remember that things change more quickly here than any other so if you don't keep your skills up-to-date you will be left behind! Finally, 3D printing is definitely an emerging industry to watch.
In all cases, anyone with a strong work ethic and willingness to grow and change along with the job landscape can find success. We should all seek out and embrace opportunities for training and development, as well as take time on our long-term career planning to help us to navigate this changing landscape and prepare for us for when unexpected changes inevitably happen.