Skills that employers are looking for

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Skills that employers are looking for

BY Skillset 04 May, 2021

The three E’s – what employers are looking for in job candidates

Education, employability skills and experience – according to the National Skills Commission, these are the three elements that employers are looking for in job candidates. These are also the elements you should concentrate on as you begin your career.


The National Skills Commission estimates that 90% of new jobs created in the future are likely to require a Vocational Education and Training (VET) or university qualification. As a result, it is very important to think about the specific qualifications you will need for the job you wish to do.

If you are not sure about which qualifications you should aim for, the first step is to get some advice. A career planner or career adviser can assist you with finding out the right education and training for the career path you wish to take. These professionals listen to your career aspirations and map out a path of education, training and work options you can take to ensure you reach your career goals.

Employability skills

The National Skills Commission lists out the top skills that employers are looking for during the recruitment process. These are divided into ‘traditional’ employability skills and 21st century skills:

Traditional employability skills

  • Being reliable and punctual
  • Customer service skills
  • Having a positive attitude and motivation
  • The ability to work in a team
  • Having a good personal presentation.

21st century employability skills

  • Creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Digital and financial literacy
  • Presentation skills.

It is essential that you highlight any strengths in these areas in your CV.


All jobs– regardless of the sector and type of work – can provide valuable experience and give you the foot in the door to another job and step in your career. Jobs can come in many forms ranging from full time jobs through to internships and volunteering.

An ideal way of gaining a qualification, new skills and work experience at the same time, is an apprenticeship or traineeship. When you do an apprenticeship or traineeship, you are required to work part-time with an employer and also study subjects relevant to the job you are doing. There are apprenticeships and traineeships in a range of areas including Business Services, Hospitality, Aviation, Horticulture, Health Services, Plumbing, Construction and many more.

Where the jobs will be

According to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the three industry areas which are likely to have high levels of employment by 2024 are Nursing, Software Applications & Programming, and Teaching. Jobs growth in these sectors will be mainly be due to retirements taking place as Australia’s workforce ages.

There is also going to be considerable increase in demand for Trades, particularly in the following specific jobs:

  • Bricklayers, Carpenters & Joiners
  • Automotive Electricians & Mechanics
  • Electricians

Covid-19 and the jobs market

The Australian jobs market has been significantly impacted by Covid-19. Recent information about skills in demand collected between April and October 2020 indicates the following skills are most desired by employers in the current environment:

  1. Assisting and Caring for Others
  2. Operating Vehicles, Mechanised Devices, or Equipment
  3. Customer and Personal Service
  4. Controlling Machines and Processes
  5. Selling or Influencing Others.

Improving your education, employability skills and experience

Do you need some assistance with improving your education, employability skills and experience to obtain the career you want?

If you live in the Central West of NSW, Skillset can assist you with:

  • Career planning and transition advice
  • Government-funded programs that provide career advice and access to local training and work opportunities
  • Skills development and training opportunities, such as apprenticeships and traineeships.

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We are honoured to be on the ancestral lands of those whose cultures are among the oldest living cultures in human history. We pay respect to the Elders, past, present and to the younger generation of the community who will be the future leaders in years to come.