These days similar such work is probably done either by more technologically advanced factories in Germany, or by operatives being paid comparatively lower salaries in Asia (the timber and MDF mouldings, I mean, not the illicit cultivation of skunk plants under sophisticated hydroponic equipment).
People sometimes worry that there will be no work in the future due to mechanisation and automation, but an optimist would tell you that capitalism has always been this way, going on to create new opportunities as old ones fade away.
Although I'm still (just) in my thirties, it's actually quite amazing to think what has changed since I left school.
Technically the internet did exist back then, but hardly anyone used it. Email was just about beginning to be used on Uni campuses, but most people hadn't heard of it.
There were no online newspapers, so everyone read The Sun. Small business accountants wrote in pencil in leather-bound nominal ledgers instead of using spreadsheets. There was no Facebook, and no Twitter...and better still, no bloggers. Imagine how productive people must have been!
However, the creation of such new roles often requires business investment, and we're not seeing so much of that in Australia right now.
One piece of good news is that the lower dollar has helped the manufacturing industry to arrest its long sweeping downtrend in employment over the past six months, even recording a bit of a rebound.
The light blue line at the bottom of the chart above shows that the number of persons employed in mining has declined by about 18 per cent or about 50,000 to 225,000 since peaking in November 2013.
Although mining is not one of the biggest employers in terms of headcount, analysts believe that this figure has some way to fall yet, and this will have continuing repercussions for resources regions.
Looking at the annual change in employment by industry, after healthcare and social assistance (+85,600) comes construction as a leading sector in creating +48,300 jobs over the year to May.