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PODCAST: The SA jobs that no-one wants

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South Australia is underprepared for a surge in defence jobs, and needs to foster homegrown expertise in science and technology, according to members of a high-powered panel discussion at InDaily’s SA Business Index event.

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The panel, hosted by InDaily podcast partner Rooster Radio, garnered insights from business experts about the state of the state, and the challenges and opportunities facing employers and entrepreneurs.

The panel was comprised of Professor Jana Matthews, the Director for Business Growth at Uni SA, hospitality entrepreneur Josh Baker, technology investor Geoff Rohrsheim, and Scott Dolling from Taylor Collison, the company that collated the Index.

Matthews said local companies “clearly want to grow” but warned a “lack of knowledge is holding them back”.

“They’d be happy to add jobs as long as it’s not going to be more hassle… they don’t want to go to the bank and borrow money and bet the farm and lose,” she said.

Rohrsheim, who sold his company Kloud Solutions to Telstra for more than $40 million earlier this year, said Adelaide needed to encourage education and training in science, technology, engineering and maths – areas that will be in increasing demand with an increasing focus on defence jobs.

“We’ve got to wake up to the fact that the politicians have won all this work for us in defence, but we need to be ready for that – and we’re not, clearly we’re not,” he said.

“Clearly we need to be starting now to get our brightest and best to do those sorts of courses – that’s what this state needs to take advantage of that opportunity.

He said job opportunities in STEM areas “are going up but the number of people studying them is going the other way”.

“Around the world we’re seeing some pretty amazing growth in those areas and we’re not tapping into that,” he said.

“We’ve still got kids who aren’t looking at it as a career.”

You can listen to the full podcast, hosted by Andrew Montesi and James Begley, here:

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