Australia has skill shortages in healthcare, IT and mining sectors

by Ray Clancy on February 12, 2013

in Jobs in Australia

Australia has skill shortages in healthcare, IT and mining sectors

Skills shortages in sectors such as IT and healthcare in Australia are likely to continue in 2013 and businesses are expected to continue sourcing talent overseas, it is claimed. Employers in 2013 are expected to take a conservative approach to hiring following a year of redundancies and cost cutting, according to recruitment firm Hays.

However overall, the company believes that the Australian economy is expected to continue to grow by 3% in 2013, albeit more modestly than in 2012, before picking up pace towards the end of the year. ‘We expect that businesses will have to rise to the challenge of sourcing candidates from overseas and becoming more diverse as we see candidates remain in the workforce for longer due to our aging population,’ said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia.

‘Skills shortages are also expected to continue to be an issue in certain sectors such as healthcare and IT,’ he added. Vacancies in the healthcare sector are set to remain high due to demand from an ageing population and there are shortages of good quality candidates in accountancy and finance. Demand is also high for skilled software developers as the number of IT graduates in Australia has fallen by 5.3% over the last five years.

The firm also says that despite a slight slowdown in the mining and resources sector there is still a need for highly skilled personnel including mining engineers and surveyors, senior processing professionals and fixed plant maintenance and planning candidates. Also in demand are operational and technical skills.

Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “I have a degree in computer science and managed to gain a short internship job at home in Dublin. Although it gains experience and makes it easier to seek employment after the term has finished, I worry that I might still end up out of work as the European economy is slowly recovering and the unemployment rates in Ireland are still quite high. Australia is less effected and unemployment rate is about 5%. As such I was considering applying to live and work in Australia as a back up plan.”

Deligiannis believes that employers will need to capitalise on Australia’s strengths in a bid to attract quality international candidates. The firm’s latest White Paper, Tomorrow’s Workforce, says that the mobility of skilled professionals across borders will become the norm in the jobs market. Hays research also shows more than 70% of Australian candidates would work overseas creating a need for employers to become adept at global recruiting to fill the void.

The firm expects employers to use social media more to engage with the array of social media sites that potential jobseekers use and this gives them a means to boost and enhance their reputation as an employer of choice. Smart phones and mobile technology will also be used more for recruitment. ‘Employers competing for talent, particularly the best young talent, need to keep smart phones and mobile technology in mind when developing recruitment campaigns and job ads,’ explained Deligiannis.

The global economic downturn has created a dichotomy in many organisations in terms of how they cut costs while still addressing the skills shortage in different areas of their workforce. According to Hays businesses need to recognise talent as an asset to be deployed within an organisation while HR needs to be more planned and strategic about how it goes about talent allocation.

‘HR professionals have had to become even more innovative and commercially driven, with a need to understand and address talent shortages in the new landscape in different ways,’ said Deligiannis. ‘This means discovering where untapped sources of talent lie and evolving creative ways of attracting and identifying new talent. Then, all of these assets must be developed and allocated effectively through a business, so that the talent balance sheet constantly improves. This shift is necessary to provide the talent needed to help organisations emerge from the tough economic times and rise to new challenges,’ he added.

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