Community Services

The Community Services Industry assists and supports individuals, families and communities in need. It contributes to the well-being and quality of life of Australians. Work in this industry covers activities directly supporting individuals and their families; community services activities include working with groups and communities; and social planning and advocacy.

This industry also covers Early Childhood Education and Care, which is a growing sector. State and Territory Governments are increasingly funding childhood education, to allow Australian children the best start in life. There are minimum qualification requirements to work in this industry, which can be achieved through vocational education and training.

What does this industry cover?

State and Territory Governments fund a lot of welfare activity in the community. Federal Government funds for activities such as homelessness, are often managed through State or Territory agencies. Improving environmental health outcomes for Indigenous communities is a national goal set by Governments at State, Territory and Federal levels.

Community services organisations support millions of Australians every year by advocating for the rights of individuals and communities, and by improving social and economic inclusion of all citizens.

Sectors within this industry include Social Housing, Early Childhood Education and Care, Youth Services and Child Protection, Volunteering, Indigenous Environmental and Population health, and Youth Justice (in some states and territories it is part of the overall justice portfolio).

Job hunting preparation

When researching what sector you would like to work in, be mindful that each State and Territory can have its own legislation that determines policies and practices, and minimum qualification requirements. Most employers will require you to have relevant checks to ensure you can work with vulnerable persons, for example through a Working with Children Check.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has resulted in a need to increase staff levels especially in case management in the disability sector. This scheme is allowing participants to have a choice over the services and support they require.

The skills that employers are looking for in employees in most sectors are Active Listening, Speaking, Complex Problem Solving, Social Perceptiveness, Judgment and Decision Making.

Skills for the future are Digital Literacy, Emotional Intelligence and Resilience and Cultural Competence.

Jobs in the Community Services industry, particularly those which involve working directly with people, are unlikely to be affected by automation. As the Australian population ages, there will continue to be an increased need for staff in these areas.

Information for further research

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a large industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2019, commencements were: 11 660

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2019 in this industry have increased, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are medium to high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a medium to large sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has increased.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is low to medium.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Hear about the Community Services Industry

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