When I woke up today, glancing through my phone, Facebook reminded me that, this time 4 years ago I arrived in Adelaide and was looking to enter the recruitment industry for the first time.
When I arrived in Adelaide, I’d only spent a couple of weeks in here previously for work. I’d been living in Sydney and Melbourne, and had no idea about what to expect of SA.
In my opinion, Adelaide is one of the best kept secrets of Australian cities. What I found was a great city surrounded by beautiful green park lands on all sides. Rundle Mall had most of the shops I’d seen interstate, and a great food culture that puts Melbourne’s offering to shame. More importantly, there are no traffic jams. Add the best wine regions in the world along with the best city beaches...all were massive eye openers to me when I first arrived.
From a business perspective when I arrived in 2015, the mood was not as positive. Adelaide was in the midst of an economic slowdown, brought on by news of the demise of Automotive Manufacturing, a downturn in Mining and Oil and Gas projects, and a lack of new Infrastructure and Building projects being undertaken. This had made it a pretty tough to find work for many people. Many young people struggled to find work and, for many, a move to the East or Overseas to find a job was the norm.
Fast Forward to 2019 and nothing could be further from the "darker days" of previous years.
Adelaide has more cranes appearing around the city and outer suburbs as more consumer confidence returns to the state. The creation of 5 star hotels to cater for increased tourism demand, many high rise apartments starting to be built to deal with increased population growth, and a number of major commercial projects will transform the Adelaide skyline over the coming years. (source)
Huge multi-generational Defence contracts, such as the Offshore Patrol Vessels, Future Submarines and Future Frigates projects promised the creation of more than 5000 direct jobs in the sector. (source)
There is a large funding deal that has been secured to better Adelaide's road and rail infrastructure network. The deal will consist of $177 million for the Regency Road to Pym Street project, $220 million for electrification of the Gawler rail line and $160 million on the duplication of the Joy Baluch Bridge in Port Augusta. The Federal Budget had flagged $1.8 billion to infrastructure projects for the state. (source)
New technology brings new industries to SA. Old manufacturing sites have transitioned to exciting new innovation precincts, such as Flinders University’s New Venture Institute at Tonsley, and Lot 14 at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site which will house the new Australian Space Agency.
Many manufacturing operations that supplied previous industries, have transitioned to high end manufacturing on exciting products for a number of emerging industries. One success story is the super car manufacturer Brabham who now houses it’s operations here in Adelaide, once again bringing Motorsport pedigree to the true home of Australian motor sport.
We are also starting to see a resurgence of the Resources industry in Adelaide, with many large Mining and Oil and Gas operations starting to ramp up production again.
All of this is not to say that South Australia doesn’t still face challenges. Many older workers face the challenges of re-skilling to meet the requirements of a new, fast-paced and automated world. Youth unemployment is still too high and the bureaucracy of many planning policies are still holding the state back in my opinion. However, there’s a lot to be excited about. I haven’t seen business confidence across the Engineering, Construction and Manufacturing industry this positive for a long time.
Adelaide is on an incredible transition at the moment, and I’m for one proud to call myself (an adopted) South Australian.
Alex Jeffries is an Associate Director of EGM Executive Search and Recruitment, if you are interested in discussing opportunities in Adelaide feel free to get in contact here.