Skills shortage intensifies in Australia

Analysis of skills shortages in Australia shows that 36 per cent of assessed occupations (332 out of 916) were in national shortage in 2023, five per cent higher than the year before.


The Annual Jobs and Skills Report 2023 notes Australia faces a skills challenge not seen since the 1960s, with shortages being the most common for Technicians and Trades Workers.

Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) finds about half of occupations in that category are in national shortage, broadly consistent with previous findings. For example, all jobs in the Construction Trades Workers and Food Trades Workers groups were found to be in national shortage.

Shortages were also pronounced for the Professionals group, particularly Health Professionals.

About 48 per cent of jobs within the Professionals group occupations – which require a high level of skills and knowledge, qualifications and experience – were in shortage in 2023.

Shortages grew amongst Community and Personal Service Workers (to 24 per cent of occupations in 2023). As with the Health Professionals category, shortages for Community and Personal Service Workers in the health, care and support sectors are considerable.

The report predicts that more than nine of 10 new jobs will require post-secondary qualifications.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the report bolsters the need for an enhanced incentives scheme to improve the business case for employers to engage apprentices, particularly in the face of economic uncertain times.

“This would empower young Australians to embark on their careers and contribute to the nation’s skilled workforce,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“The apprenticeship model plays a vital role in skills development and successful transitions from education to employment. To ensure that job seekers possess the skills and training required for the jobs of today and tomorrow, we must get the incentives right.

“ACCI remains committed to working closely with our industry partners and the government to ensure Australia maintains a strong and dynamic workforce for the future.”

JSA was established in 2022 to advise government and key partners in the national skills system on Australia’s skills needs and the adequacy of the skills system in meeting those needs.

Top 20 occupations in demand in Victoria in 2023

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Advertising and Sales Managers
  3. Software and Applications Programmers
  4. Aged and Disabled Carers
  5. Retail Managers
  6. Construction Managers
  7. Child Carers
  8. Motor Mechanics
  9. Generalist Medical Practitioners
  10. Human Resource Professionals
  11. Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers
  12. Sales Representatives
  13. Advertising and Marketing Professionals
  14. Chefs
  15. Occupational Therapists
  16. Solicitors
  17. Social Workers
  18. Civil Engineering Professionals
  19. Physiotherapists
  20. Electricians

How the Victorian Chamber can help

If your workplace is struggling to fill the skills gap, the Victorian Chamber has a range of support services available to help your business.

  • Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA) - Since 1998, ASA has been contracted by the Australian Government to provide free personalised advice and support services from pre-commencement to completion for job seekers, employers, apprentices and trainees. See here how we can help your business with apprenticeships.
  • Training and development – If your business is struggling to find staff, upskilling your workforce can be a quicker and more cost-effective method. View our hundreds of in-person, online and onsite training that can be tailored to your business needs.
  • Visa and skilled migration - Sponsoring overseas workers can be a complicated process, which is why the Victorian Chamber provides tailored migration and visa services to members.
  • Grants and programs – The Victorian Chamber often delivers initiatives in partnership with Governments such as the SummerTECH Live digital student program and Youth Activating Youth internship placement. The Chamber announces when these programs are available.

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