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Australian Skills Shortages Demand 2011

Clarius Skills Index Major employment sectors to be hit by skills shortfalls.

The occupations currently experiencing shortages of skilled labour are listed below:


  • Mechanical and Fabrication Engineering Tradespersons (112.2 in the Sep qtr; 108.9 in the Jun qtr);
  • Chefs (107.8 in the Sep qtr; 105.3 in the Jun qtr);
  • Automotive Tradespersons (103.7 in the Sep qtr; 103.8 in the Jun qtr);
  • Hairdressers (101.8 in the Sep qtr; 101.1 in the Jun qtr);
  • Food Tradespersons (101.1 in the Sep qtr; 101.8 in the Jun qtr);
  • Computing Professionals (100.4 in the Sep qtr; 100.5 in the Jun qtr); and
  • Wood Tradespersons (100.3 in the Sep qtr; 102.6 in the Jun qtr).


Australia’s health sector is among three industries that will be substantially hit by a skills gap within the next decade and a half as the ageing workforce retires, according to the latest Clarius Skills Index.

Analysis undertaken by KPMG Econtech shows that based on current trends, for every 110 health professionals who retire, including GPs, nurses, pharmacists, vets and dietitians, there will only be 84 qualified people to replace them.

A similar situation is expected in education, with only 73 qualified people being available to fill every 107 jobs created by retirement. Engineering is another sector that will be hit by skills shortages, with 18 per cent of those employed now just a few years from retirement.

The September quarter Clarius Skills Index, the only measure of supply and demand of skilled labour, eased to a balanced ranking of 99.7, with an additional 8,500 skilled people to jobs, from a perfectly balanced result of 100.0 in the June quarter.

Kym Quick, Chief Executive Officer of the Clarius Group of recruitment companies, said the easing of skills pressure reflected the moderating Australian economy and the uncertain outlook for growth.

“However, the Index does provide false comfort, as the skills gap are only closing as a result of the weak economy and not as a result of any real measures to address the problem of structural shortages,” Ms Quick said.

“Negative sentiment is playing the biggest role in the demand for skills at present. Generally, there is a reluctance to take on permanent hires, but still enough demand that there is a gradual improvement in contractor and temporary staff demand.

“Among so much uncertainty, the one thing we can be sure of is that the market is cyclical and although this current cycle is unlike any other we have seen in recent times, there are clear indications it will recover and demand for skills will be higher than ever. The more confident and savvy operators are using this as an opportunity to shore up talent while it is available.

“But the reality now is that the problem of skills gaps persists in seven of the 20 occupations surveyed and will re-emerge for many others once the economy picks up pace and hiring follows suit.

“This will be further compounded as our ageing workforce reaches retirement.”

AIEC QUEST Australian International Education Centre.

 

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