Australia’s fastest growing youth employment sectors

Australia’s Fastest Growing Youth Employment Sectors

Retail trade, accommodation and food services, and construction are the major industries employing young people with all sectors expected to increase in the coming years.

These are the findings of the Australian Government’s recent Jobs 2018 report, which notes an estimated 264,000 jobs will be added to these industries collectively over the five years to 2022.

Here’s an insight into what each industry offers, and how they are set to expand.

Retail Trade

The retail trade industry is Australia’s second largest employment sector, with 1,286,900 people currently employed in this field.

That figure has increased by 6.8 per cent since November 2012, and is expected to enjoy further growth of 3.7 per cent over the five years to May 2022.

Retail trade also represents Australia’s largest employer of young people, with around 386,000 workers aged between 15 and 24. In fact the report notes 30 per cent of retail trade workers fall within this age group, while a further 21 per cent are aged 25 to 34.

In total the sector comprises 390,000 general sales assistants, 154,500 retail managers, 113,900 checkout operators and office cashiers, 66,100 shelf fillers, and 33,500 pharmacy sales assistants.

Food services and accommodation

Driven by tourism and an expanding café culture, the food services and accommodation industry is one of Australia’s fastest growing sectors and that growth is only expected to continue in the coming years.

The food services and accommodation sector currently employs 896,100 Australians – an increase of 13.8 per cent (or 108,400 jobs) since November 2012. In the next five years, the sector is expected to enjoy further growth of 11.2 per cent.

Within the industry almost half the workers (43 per cent) are aged between 15 and 24, and a further 22 per cent are aged between 25 and 34.

The report notes the food services and accommodation sector is attractive to young workers because post school qualifications are often not required and part-time options are available.

“This industry also offers training opportunities, with 24,600 apprentices and trainees employed in 2017,” they continue, while 13 per cent of food services and accommodation workers are also attending secondary school.

And in terms of what people do within the sector, 123,600 people are waiters, 97,100 are kitchenhands, 93, 400 are bar attendants and baristas, 77,400 are general sales assistants, and 76,400 are chefs.


Construction is not just one of Australia’s biggest employment sectors, it’s one that’s rapidly increasing. As of November last year, 1,167,200 Australians were employed in construction, indicating industry expansion of 19.3 per cent since November 2012.

The construction sector is also expected to steadily increase in the next five years, with predicted growth of 10.9 per cent.

Around 15 per cent of construction workers are aged between 15 and 24, while a further 26 per cent are aged between 25 and 34.

“Around 16 per cent of workers are Labourers,” the report notes, “and there were around 81,600 apprentices and trainees employed in this industry in 2017, suggesting there are some good entry level opportunities.”

In terms of roles within the industry, 106,000 people are carpenters and joiners, 105,500 are electricians 77,400 are plumbers, 74,800 are construction managers, and 50,700 are building and plumbing labourers.

What we do

The Father James Grant Foundation partners with corporate entities and organisations to offer on-the-job training and mentoring for young people looking to enter the workforce.

We tailor each program to the business involved; working with business to impart the skills they require and instill the employee ethos they seek.

If you are a business looking to participate, there are two ways to become involved: you can assist through workplace training or mentoring, or alternatively, assist the program through sponsorship.

Either way, the businesses involved are helping to change Australia’s employment landscape at a time when the youth jobless rate is at its highest in years.

Learn more about our programs or contact us directly to become involved.

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