Report spotlights jobs of the future and economic areas of growth

Issued: 22 Jun 2021

The emerging jobs of the future and opportunities for Queensland’s science-driven industries to expand and grow are identified in a new report commissioned by the Department of Environment and Science.

The report, called A New Chapter: Opportunities to Seed New Industries for Queensland Over the Coming Decade was developed by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, in collaboration with QUT’s Centre for Future Enterprise and uses current knowledge and data to predict a set of nine industry development opportunities aligned with Queensland’s comparative advantages and scientific strengths.

Minister for Science Meaghan Scanlon said the report would be a vital tool not only for industry looking for areas of opportunity, but also for universities and TAFE institutions looking to support of the next generation of Australian workers.

“This is where the demand for jobs will be in the next 10–20 years, the report offers signposts for areas of study and skills training,” Minister Scanlon said.

“This report showcases where our scientific advantage can be leveraged and where opportunities for expansion and growth can be found.

“The Queensland Government has a role in building thriving ecosystems around each opportunity, across large and small business, investors, overseas players, entrepreneurs, and research institutes.

“DES's science and technology division will work closely with other relevant Queensland Government agencies to identify policies and programs that can support the identified opportunities and will continue to provide the government with advice on how these and other options can support Queensland’s economic recovery."

CSIRO Data61 report co-author, Dr Claire Naughtin said anticipating future global trends and areas of need led to identifying nine emerging, knowledge‑driven seed industries that have potential for strong, sustained jobs growth, if supportive ecosystems can be established for them.

The nine areas of growth are:

  • Additive biomanufacturing: Using additive manufacturing processes for medical applications to provide highly customised body parts, scaffolds or medical devices
  • AI-enabled healthcare: Leveraging growing capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) and electronic medical records to improve health outcomes and system efficiencies
  • Green metal manufacturing: Creating new value in the manufacturing and mining sectors by taking advantage of the state’s abundant clean energy and mineral resources
  • Resource recovery technologies: Transforming existing waste streams into higher-value products, diverting waste from landfill, and reducing demand on virgin materials
  • Microalgal and macroalgal resources: Contributing to solving significant global food, water, and emissions challenges by using natural resources and local expertise to grow algae
  • Agricultural sensors and automation: Applying robotics, sensors, and other automation technologies to boost the productivity and global competitiveness of the agriculture sector
  • Supply chain provenance technologies: Building trust and increasing the value of exports by using technologies to improve the traceability, transparency and authenticity of supply chains
  • Disaster resilience and response technologies: Translating existing capabilities in robotics, autonomous systems and data analytics to improve preparedness and resilience to disasters
  • Construction technologies: Reducing safety risks in the construction sector by using assistive technologies and maximising off-site automated processing

“Each of these seed industries were identified by exploring sectors in Queensland where increasing demand could be met by existing and emerging supply. We analysed existing data to determine the number of potential businesses that each industry could support in the future,” Dr Naughtin said.

The report found the agricultural sensors and automation sector alone was projected to create around 3000 jobs in Queensland by 2030.

Queensland is already having significant success in this area with ongoing projects including a successful collaboration between John Deere and the University of Southern Queensland that has led to the development of vision-based precision spray technology which will reduce costs and improve environmental outcomes for agricultural businesses around the world.