There's been a seismic shift in the skills seen as essential for society.
Traditional skills like cooking, sewing, communicating, have been left to the wayside in favour of coding, typing and computing-based skills.
But there's something tragic when a traditional skill is lost to the masses, which we see happening time and time again - sewing is a good example. Coopering is one such skill that seems to be on the knife-edge - it's not a skill you see advertised in the employment section of the newspaper.
The men at Transwood Cooperage have been able to buck the trend, finding a modern application for their craft, and they have been so successful they can't keep up with the demand for their services.
Distilleries in Tasmania and Australia are cropping up faster than we can count, so it stands to reason there will be continued and sustained demand for services such as cooperage, to ensure spirits like whisky meet legal requirements to be called authentic.
Tasmania is at its own economic crossroads - the economic prosperity we built on the back of the tourism industry was wiped away seemingly overnight due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In other news:
The borders were closed and the constant stream of visitors we'd become used to ceased coming - Tasmania was closed.
Although the borders are now basically open, with the exception of Victoria, which will occur in the next couple of weeks, it's clear Tasmania needs to find alternative economic pillars to prop up the economy.
While there is much talk about infrastructure and construction being the saviour of the economy, there is one thing that's clear - we can't put all our economic eggs into the one basket. Tasmania has the opportunity to diversify and create new industries and economies that will secure us for the future. The reinstatement of the cooperage apprenticeship could be one way Tasmania could leverage off another niche industry that would supplement our growing liquor industry. As Definium Technologies' founder and Pearcey Foundation Entrepreneur of the Year Mike Cruse believes, Tasmania needs more makers in its economic makeup to help kickstart the economy.
Mr Cruse is an ICT pioneer, but he believes Tasmania will need makers of all shapes and sizes to become job-makers.
If we can support entrepreneurship, such as through niche opportunities like cooperage (or even others like blacksmiths, milliners and others) it would help foster the state as a place where we make and manufacture boutique, high-quality goods. Tasmania is the ideal state to leverage off this quirkiness, and it would give us an edge over other states as a place where all opportunity is possible.