Australia’s Skills Shortages: How They Can Help You Find In-Demand Careers
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When it comes to choosing a career direction, there are a few approaches you can take.
You can begin from within, learning about various careers, then deciding which career will be a good personal fit.
You can also look at the Australian labour market and try to plot a career that will head in a secure, well-paid career area that looks set to grow in the future. In this case, you’ll be well-advised to find out which occupations are experiencing skill shortages, and which industries are set to grow over the next 5 years.
Make Yourself Valuable
According to the law of supply and demand, you can increase your value in the labour market by identifying the skills and experience that employers are having difficulty finding. There are, of course, soft skills that can apply across many fields and that are always in demand. These are indispensable for your career progression. You can, however, make yourself an extra-rare commodity by purposefully gaining technical or ‘hard’ skills in areas experiencing shortages. Paired with a sturdy set of soft skills, having the strategic advantage of in-demand skills will give you:
- Better job security
- An easier time finding a job
- Higher salary
What is a Skill Shortage?
Skills shortages occur when there are not enough appropriately skilled workers in a field to fill the available positions. Companies compete with one another to hire and retain talent, which drives up salaries and benefits.
Where Are The Skill Shortages in Australia?
The Department of Jobs and Small Business researched skill shortages in Australia for 2017-2018 and found that occupations in areas like construction and skilled trades are currently experiencing the most shortages nationally. Here is a list of all occupations experiencing skills shortages in Australia right now.
Australian Industries Set to Gain New Jobs in Next 5 Years
Medical and other health care services
Food & beverage services
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (EXCL COMPUTER SYSTEM DESIGN)
Social Assistance SERVICES
Preschool and school education
Computer system design and related services
Adult, community and other education
Australian Industries Set To Decline In Next 5 Years
The Department of Jobs and Small Business predicts that the three industries in which employment will fall are:
down by 38,300 or 4.2%
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
down by 9,000 or 7.0%
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
down by 2,400 or 0.8%
Occupations with Most New Jobs in Next 5 Years
Aged and Disabled Carers
general sales assistants
Software and Applications Programmers
Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers
General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers
Growth in these occupations means more job opportunities for young people, according to a report by the Department of Jobs and Small Business. “Growth in these occupations will provide opportunities for young people aged 15 to 24 years, particularly the new jobs projected for General Sales Assistants, with this occupation currently providing the largest number of jobs for young people.”
National Skills Shortages
- Architects – Shortages restricted to large eastern states.
- Surveyors – Shortages are mainly for cadastral surveyors in eastern states.
- Construction Estimators – Shortage of experienced construction estimators, especially in NSW and VIC.
- Automotive Electricians
- Motor Mechanics
- Sheetmetal Trades Worker
- Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers
- Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics & Mechanical)
- Metal Fitters and Machinists
- Vehicle Painters
- Bricklayers – Shortages in NSW, VIC and the ACT, but a surplus in WA.
- Carpenters and Joiners
- Painting Trades Worker
- Fibrous Plasterer
- Roof Tiler
- Wall and Floor Tiler
- Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic
- Telecommunications Trades Workers
- Butchers and Smallgoods Maker
Shortage In Regional Areas
- Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
- Hospital and Retail Pharmacist
- Midwife – Recruitment difficulty
- Civil Engineering Professionals – Recruitment difficulty for structural engineering expertise and experience.
- Solicitor– Recruitment difficulty for solicitors with 5+ years of experience.
NSW Skill Shortages
- Enrolled nurses at the highest recorded rate of demand, and still growing as the population grows and gets older. Registered nurses and midwives are not experiencing a shortage.
- Automotive trades workers (eg. automotive electricians, mechanics, panel beaters)
- Construction trades workers (except bricklaying)
- Civil engineers
- Engineering tradespersons (eg. welders, machinists, aircraft maintenance engineers)
- Medical diagnostic radiographers
Victoria Skill Shortages
- Automotive electricians
- Panel beaters
- Construction trades workers – record levels of construction activity in Victoria have driven up the demand for skilled workers, with 40% of employers unable to fill positions
- Civil engineers
- Engineering tradespersons (except fitters)
- Medical diagnostic radiographers
- Midwives and registered nurses
Western Australia Skill Shortages
- Automotive trades employers are finding it harder to fill vacancies than ever, particularly vehicle painters and panelbeaters.
- Civil engineering professionals
- Electrical engineers (regional areas only)
- Metal Fabricators
- Some health professionals, including physiotherapists, but especially medical diagnostic radiographers and sonographers, with employers only filling 13% of advertised vacancies.
Northern Territory Skill Shortages
Australian Capital Territory Skill Shortages
Construction trades are experiencing huge shortages, with vacancies filled at a record low. Strong growth in residential construction is driving demand in this sector.
What Recruiters Are Saying
In somewhat of a departure from the Australian government’s research, sources in the recruitment industry report that the technology industry is most in need of skilled professionals. The Talent international report ‘2018 State of the Market’ for Australia and New Zealand found that 76% of CEOs struggle to hire skilled professionals in technology. The latest data from Hays found that specialists in finance and information technology are in high demand, with the following jobs topping the list:
- Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business: National, State and Territory Shill Shortage Information
- Hays Job Report 2018
- Talent International ‘2018 State of the Market Report and Salary Guide’ for Australia and New Zealand
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