A skill shortage can occur when employers are unable to fill or have considerable difficulty in filling vacancies for an occupation.

Following are some important points to understand when it comes to skill shortages in Australia:

  • Occupational shortages can often exist for specialised and experienced workers within an occupation, rather than for all levels and positions within that occupation. Therefore they can coexist with relatively high overall unemployment within the occupation.
  • An occupation may be assessed as having a shortage even though not all specialisations of the occupation are in shortage.
  • Occupations may be in shortage in some regions and not in others.
  • Some shortages may only be fleeting, while some may be persistent. Where shortages are persistent, this may sometimes be due to wages and conditions not being high enough / attractive enough to retain workers – high rates of turnover within an occupation may be the key reason for any publically reported skill shortages rather than a limited number of applicants during recruitment. Whatever the cause, skills shortages are a guarantee of employment in the field.

Research research research …

In order to get a good, up to date understanding of your proposed industry, start with research.
You can contact the State Industry Training Council linked to the industry, trade association or professional association that you are interested in to enquire about shortages.
Websites of State Industry Training Councils is listed below:

  • Engineering and Automotive Training Council – www.eatc.com.au
  • Building and Construction Industry Training Fund – www.bcitf.org/
  • Community Services, Health and Education Training Council – www.csheitc.org.au
  • Financial, Administrative and Professional Services Training Council – www.fapstc.org.au
  • Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council – www.fftitrainingcouncil.com.au
  • FutureNow – Creative and Leisure Industries Training Council – www.futurenow.org.au
  • Resources Industry Training Council – www.cmewa.com and www.appea.com.au
  • Logistics Training Council – www.logisticstc.asn.au
  • Electrical, Utilities and Public Administration Training Council – www.eupa.com.au
  • Retail and Personal Services Training Council – www.rapstc.com.au

Source: Western Australia Department of Training and Workforce Development

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