Future-Ready careers boom in South Australia: Industry 4.0 and beyond

19 February 2024

South Australia has attracted the best global minds to help businesses rise to the challenge of evolving technology, opening doors to future-focused careers.

As the global economy grapples with the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, South Australia has welcomed multinational businesses that are supporting our emerging industries through this transition.

Characterised by emerging technologies, digital connections, and the ability to create, share, and automate data, Industry 4.0  is revolutionising how companies manufacture, develop, and distribute their products. 

This new challenge demands that companies adapt quickly to the new environment.

Thanks to South Australia’s recent leadership in technology-driven industries such as renewable energy, space, quantum technologies, and machine learning, the state has attracted numerous organisations who are working with tertiary education and start-up entrepreneurs to help businesses meet modern demands and position the state for future success.

This influx of multinational businesses has created a wave of new career opportunities in South Australia for those who are looking to make an impact across a wide range of roles – many of which were not possible a decade ago.


Supporting businesses and fostering growth

In the world of business, sound advice is invaluable. In recent years, South Australia has attracted some of the world’s leading business firms, creating internationally engaged roles for graduates.

Global consulting giants, Deloitte and Accenture, have both established offices in Adelaide within the past two years and are working closely with local businesses to navigate the ongoing transformation.

While these organisations have successfully recruited expert staff, they are also investing in the next generation of graduates to ensure a local workforce for our growing technology-driven industries.

Deloitte has pioneered Australia’s first Center for Innovation and Technology. Additionally, it has partnered with the University of Adelaide to establish The Academy by Deloitte, offering intern experiences and specialised under-graduate courses.

Accenture has entered a joint venture with the University of South Australia to create a Digital Academy. This academy offers an undergraduate degree focused on cultivating future thinkers and includes paid internships in applied business roles within the company.

Deloitte South Australia Managing Partner Hendri Mentz said the local opportunities for young people will continue to grow. 

“We are strongly focused on encouraging our local employees to remain in Adelaide to build their careers here, and for those who might have left the state to return, bringing their professional experiences and insights with them,” Mentz said. 

“Quite simply, younger people no longer need to move to bigger cities to develop rewarding and challenging careers. 

“South Australia and Adelaide, and our businesses and industries are creating opportunities for employees to thrive and make an impact more than ever.”


Digital Solutions

In a world more connected than ever before, businesses are increasingly demanding support to connect with global markets and their offices overseas.

Major technology companies, including Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cognizant, and Nokia, have all established offices in South Australia to cater to the needs of local companies seeking international connections.

Renowned digital transformation strategists Cognizant opened its first Australian delivery centre in Adelaide in 2021. 

Their Adelaide office now hosts 1,600 staff members with expertise in software, AI, machine learning, cloud computing, and data analytics. 

Vince Colasante, Associate Director, Cognizant Adelaide said their long term strategy for the delivery centre has meant developing a local talent pool. 

“There is an untapped market of talent that we can get into here in Adelaide,” Colasante said.

“Adelaide is being positioned as a global delivery centre which will bring skills from around the nation (and) around the globe, and nurture them and make them sustainable within South Australia.”

Adelaide’s innovation district, Lot Fourteen, has become a hub for these types of organisations, fostering collaboration between the transformative businesses that call it home.

Sarah Bassett, AWS Head of South Australia and Western Australia, said the opportunity to work with emerging businesses at Lot Fourteen was a huge plus. 

“One core focus for us at Lot Fourteen will be to deepen our engagement with start-ups to help them grow and scale,” Bassett said. 

“We also believe everyone should have the resources and skills to build their best future as a means of driving economic growth and job creation.”

It’s estimated that by 2028 Lot Fourteen will generate $3.5 billion in economic activity for South Australia, from capital and operational expenditure alone.


Advanced manufacturing

Following the decline of local manufacturing in the early 2000s and the closure of Mitsubishi’s Tonsley car manufacturing plant, the Tonsley Innovation District was established. This district aimed to guide Adelaide’s transition from traditional to high-value, advanced manufacturing.

Recognised as the global benchmark for successful re-use of a former industrial site, the 61-hectare site now houses over 2,000 employees and more than 140 businesses from Australia and beyond.

The growth at Tonsley Innovation District has led to the establishment of Flinders University’s Factory of the Future, which aims to prepare graduates to embrace the changes that Industry 4.0 presents to the manufacturing industry.

Similar to Lot Fourteen, the District is home to a range of organisations that benefit from the support and collaboration opportunities afforded by fellow businesses in Tonsley. 

Innovators in data infrastructure, Phoenix Contact, and industrial automation leader Rockwell Automation have also taken up space at Tonsley Innovation District, fostering unique employment opportunities and aiding local entrepreneurs in developing their ideas.


Ready for the future

The jobs of the future will increasingly rely on the development, understanding, and utilisation of new technologies emerging through this latest industrial revolution, and South Australia is already well-positioned to embrace this challenge. 

Through collaborations with expert international businesses, research institutions and start-ups, businesses in South Australia are developing industries and shaping a workforce capable of meeting future demands. 

This effort provides unprecedented opportunities for South Australians aspiring to be at the forefront of global change and innovation.

The future is indeed bright.