Doors open for opportunities in future careers

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By Melissa Keogh

From the defence sector and cyber security to artificial intelligence and robotics – South Australia’s future industries are the great engines of change.

It’s a serious but exciting transition away from the once-thriving auto-manufacturing sector and towards these prosperous future industries that will lead to an increase in demand for skilled workers.

SA businesses to have already found solutions and strengths in our growing future industries include Axiom Precision Manufacturing, which once specialised in automotive parts manufacturing but has now transitioned into design and manufacturing for the aerospace, defence, rail, mining and health industries.

Two former car making factories – the Mitsubishi plant (now Tonsley) in Adelaide’s south and the Holden site in Adelaide’s north – have been reawakened into innovation districts and business parks home to thriving start-ups and global giants taking their products to the world.

But as our state continues its trajectory towards a new and brighter future, we must equip our children and students with the necessary skills and tools to navigate future workplaces.

Axiom Precision Manufacturing’s operations supervisor Shannon Wride started as an apprentice in 2006 with the company that focused on work for the automotive industry. Now Axiom works for defence, aerospace, mining, rail and medical companies.

The future success of our state rests in the hands of young people and we – both now and in the future – must embrace change, innovation and entrepreneurship to allow the next generation’s workforce to thrive.

Throughout the months of May and June, Brand South Australia is exploring Careers of the Future as part of the successful I Choose SA campaign.

We’ll be exploring what SA industries could look like in 20 years’ time, what steps businesses, industry and government are taking to prepare us for the future, and what skill requirements our children need for future workplaces.

Here at Brand SA News we’ll bring you a series of news articles on Careers of the Future and share the stories of people who are leading in fields of artificial intelligence, defence, health and ageing, entrepreneurialism, STEM education, advanced manufacturing and the space industry.

First up, we’ll bring you an interview with the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) Board CEO Professor Martin Westwell, who will share his thoughts on the importance of growing and fostering future jobs through the curriculum and early STEM education.

We’ll also engage with Dr John Flackett, an expert in artificial intelligence (AI) who runs AiLab, a business assisting other businesses as well as academia, industry, community and government to navigate the complex field of AI and where it will take us in the future.

Throughout our exploration of Careers of the Future, it will become apparent how SA is preparing for the changing tides in industry and setting itself up to take on such projects as the $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Program and the Australian Space Agency’s establishment at Lot Fourteen.

An artist’s impression of innovation hub Lot Fourteen, once fully redeveloped. Photo: Renewal SA.

Our entrepreneurial ecosystem is set to strengthen, with SA the first in the nation to trial a new entrepreneur’s visa that aims to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors to the state.

Lot Fourteen innovation district, the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital, will be a hotspot for future jobs and home to growing industries such as AI, cyber security, smart sensor networks, robotics, big data, defence, and the creative industries. The Australian Space Agency will also be established there, including the new co-operative research centre for smart satellite technologies.

Our future businesses are likely to be smaller and more nimble, with technologies such as blockchain, augmented reality, virtual reality and machine learning changing how they operate by making them more efficient.

A report released in 2017 by the Foundation for Young Australians revealed that a teenager today is more likely to have 17 different jobs and more than five careers in their lifetime. So how do we prepare them for this shift and for future work?

Keen to learn more? Come along to Brand South Australia’s Careers of the Future Industry Briefing on Monday May 13, 4–5.30pm, at Lot Fourteen. Guests will hear from Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni, The NeuroTech Institute founder Dr Fiona Kerr, cyber security specialist for Naval Group Nathan Morelli and Renewal SA (Lot Fourteen) director of place and marketing, Rachel Walsh. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Industry in focus: Careers of the Future

Throughout the months of May and June, future careers in South Australia will be explored as part of I Choose SA.

Embracing innovation, creativity and an understanding of building quality partnerships with technology is key to ensuring career opportunities in the future. SA is taking necessary steps to equip future generations with the skills for future careers and current workforces to transition to the future industries.

Read more Careers of the Future stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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