Recruitment experts are assuring Canberrans that despite the territory potentially losing three per cent of its workforce, and lower redundancy pay outs, there are other jobs out there if they find themselves on the APS pavement.
Those thinking of packing a campervan with a few bottles, giving up Lateline for good and heading to the coast should listen to Jim Roy, ACT regional director for Hays Recruitment. "There are definitely opportunities for second careers" Mr Roy said.
"Whilst the APS cuts will affect the market, there is also more certainty over hiring now and not all sectors are affected," he said.
New openings in retail
For all the flat-pack queens and kings, Ikea will be hiring more than 250 people in the ACT before the Canberra store opens mid-2015. Ikea manager Mark Mitchinson said he was looking for "down-to-earth, straight forward people". Starting wages are $22.86 an hour and the perks are not bad; workers can get six months maternity and one month paternity pay after two years of service and discounts on furniture and meals.
The sharks are circling in Canberra, so why not join the pack? Keith Cantlie is the managing director of Cantlie Recruitment.
"It is an ongoing challenge to find people who do financial audits in Canberra in both assurance and performance audit," he said.
"Where there has been an increase in demand is for people who can do change management and process change. So this is people with technical expertise and experience in managing system changeovers in organisations” Mr Cantlie said."
As always, people with bookkeeping skills will never be out of work.
"You would not believe the shortages in payroll,'' Mr Jim Roy from Hays said.
To join the numbers pack, you will need a Certificate IV in Accounting – just one semester if you study full-time.
Let out your inner Masterchef
So you think you can bake? Well, people still need to eat. Crust Bakery in Fyshwick and Bakers Delight have been looking for qualified bakers, to no avail. Carlo Martiniello of La Piazza cafe in Erindale says he has been looking for staff for two months.
"I've had a few inquiries but I haven't found someone who has even come close," he said.
Job uncertainty and the six o'clock swill have historically gone hand in hand. A few new openings, such as Max Brenner and the Capital Bar and Grill in the QT Hotel in New Acton, show a growing confidence in the hospitality sector. The Capital Bar and Grill even held an open casting call for staff on Saturday
Pick up a trade
Jamie Neiberding, a builder in Gungahlin, said he could not get enough bricklayers.
"I advertised for more and I didn't get one phone call. I put the word out everywhere – in Wollongong, Sydney, Newcastle. Even when they do call, they don't show up," he said.
Brickies can earn $40 to $45 an hour, depending on their skills, and with numerous job ads for steel fixers, barbers, dog groomers and heating installers, there have never been so many reasons to slip into a pair of King Gees.
To work on a construction site you need a white card (which costs anywhere between $60 andto $110) and you might need to work first as an apprentice. While allowances were cut in the budget, a new student loan system for apprentices was announced. Up to $8000 will be available for the first year of study with a 20 per cent discount if you finish up qualified. Soon you will be singing the praises of the smoko, flex-time a distant memory.
Mr Roy added that preschool and childcare and vocational education teachers were other areas always looking for staff.
"The APS cuts will certainly have an effect but there are new industries like digital marketing that didn't exist five years ago," he said.
Under the cuts outlined in last weeks budget, government will abolish more than 230 bureaucratic programs and 70 government bodies.Even before the budget, public and private sector job vacancy rates were low. ANZ newspaper job advertisements data from April 2014 revealed just 177 jobs were advertised per week in the ACT, down 27 per cent on the year before.
In January just 300 public service and 2300 private sector jobs in Canberra were free, rising to 400 public and 2600 private sector vacancies in Feburary this year, the last avaliable data. Even the months following Peter Costello's 1996 budget cuts, where figures hovered around the 400 to 500 mark, did not see this level of tightness in the public sector. All the more reason to get creative and look elsewhere.