Skills shortages in Australia


The Commonwealth Department of Employment recently released a publication highlighting skilled occupations that are facing shortages or recruitment difficulties within Australia. The ratings of shortage reflect employers’ recruitment experience for workers with around three years or more experience in the relevant occupation. The list combines the results of the research undertaken at a national and state/territory level to provide information about the widespread nature of these shortages.

Of the many occupation areas, a key employment group which is suffering from a national skills shortage is the technicians and trades workers grouping. This includes occupations such as:

  • Engineering, ICT and Science Technicians
  • Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers
  • Construction Trades Workers
  • Electrotechnology and Telecommunication Trades Workers
  • Food Trades Workers

The skills shortages extend into the professional occupations area, which includes the following:

  • Business, HR and Marketing Professionals
  • Design, Engineering and Science Professionals
  • Education Professionals
  • Health Professionals
  • ICT Professionals

This recent data confirms the long-term trend of skills shortages, especially in technician, trade worker and professional occupations. Australia is facing a major issue in terms of employment due to a lack of skills, especially within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) area.

The recently announced changes to the sponsored skilled migration visa system will see more than 200 occupations removed from the list. This will have a minor impact on the sectors affected by the skills shortages. These changes to the skilled migration visa system are in keeping with the intentions to address the shortages in the above occupations and skills.

Have skill shortages affected the capability of your workforce? In what areas have you found difficulty recruiting?

Read the full list of skills shortages.

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Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor is Ai Group’s National Policy and Projects Manager, Education and Training. He is responsible for a number of national projects across workplace literacy and numeracy, skills, and the management of a mature age workforce. Michael also contributes to policy formulation across a wide spectrum of education, training and skills.
Michael Taylor

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