We already know that the dynamic and changing workforce will see young people shifting through several jobs, and careers in their lifetime. For some, these dynamics, coupled with the experiences and skills they gain, will present business, startup, or other opportunities.

It’s an exciting time, and might seem daunting to some. But it needn’t be. As jobs change, become obsolete and new jobs emerge, whether they realise it or not, students will be more prepared for this shift than they think.

In their report ‘The New Work Mindset’, the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), explored the need to shift mindsets in our approach to jobs, careers and work.

Sometimes when considering a career, students are so focussed on what they think they want, that they can’t see the many options available to them. Instead of concentrating on their dream job, we should be encouraging them to expand their options by exploring their dream job cluster!

So, just what is a job cluster?

Job clusters are jobs that require similar personal attributes and portable skills. By studying 2.7 million job adds and using an algorithm to look at more than 1,000 occupations, FYA found there are seven large job clusters based on similar skills sought by employers.

Believe it or not, the report also found that ‘when an individual trains or works in 1 job, they acquire skills for 13 other jobs’.

The 7 Job Clusters


  • Builders
  • Tasks related to manual skills
  • Technical service and production

Industries: Manufacturing, Construction, Architecture, Agriculture, Mining

Jobs: Landscape gardeners, plumbers, crop & livestock workers, carpenters, machinery operators

Entry jobs/experience: roof tiling, mining support worker, trades assistant


  • Constructors and engineers
  • Skills and knowledge of science and maths
  • Products and building

Industries: Architectural, Engineering & Technical Services

Jobs: Food technologists, patternmakers, product testers, architects, geologists, engineers

Entry jobs/experience: draftsperson, surveying assistant, pattern cutter


  • Futurists
  • Understanding and manipulation of digital technologies

Industries: IT & Media Services, Computer System Design

Jobs: Programmers, software engineers, web designers, ICT business analysts

Entry jobs/experience: web development/design/administration


  • Supporters
  • Improvement of physical health and well-being
  • Medical and personal services

Industries: Health Care & Social Assistance

Jobs: Counsellors, fitness instructors, GPs, childcare workers, surgeons, social workers

Entry jobs/experience: Dental assistant, childcare assistant, fitness instructor


  • Professionals
  • Educators and information providers
  • Business services

Industries: Education & Training, Scientific Services, Technical Services

Jobs: Teachers, intelligence officers, museum curators, accountants, solicitors

Entry jobs/experience: Private tutor, bank worker, event organiser, multimedia designer


  • Administrators
  • Behind the scenes services
  • Repetitive processes

Industries: Administrative Services, Logistics

Jobs: Bus drivers, bookkeepers, law clerks, receptionists, printers

Entry jobs/experience: Bar attendant, fast food cook, office worker


  • Interpersonal communicators
  • Sell and serve
  • Hospitality and entertainment

Industries: Arts & Recreation, Tourism, Retail & Wholesale, Accommodation, Food Services

Jobs: Sales reps, entertainers, interpreters, airline ground crew, retail workers

Entry jobs/experience: Sales assistant, telemarketer, kitchen hand, sports coach, shelf filler

The great news is that through their schooling, part-time work, sport, volunteering and hobbies, young people are already developing the core skills that will see them succeed across a variety of jobs.


What we have to do is to help them to focus on their strengths and interests, recognise and understand their core skills, and explore pathways they may not have dreamed of.

Access the FYA report ‘The New Work Mindset: 7 new job clusters to help young people navigate the new work order’ on the link below.


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