With almost half of employers in Australia seeking to increase their number of skilled workers this year it is predicted that engineers are likely to be one of the most sought after.

However, immigration experts are warning that skilled workers from overseas face visa changes which have now come into effect and need to check before applying for posts.

(PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Bigstock.com)​

According to the latest report from recruiters Hays Australia, it is civil engineers, change managers and UI/UX designers that are three of the skills sought by the 45% of employers who say they'll increase permanent staff levels this financial year.

This far exceeds the 11% who expect to decrease permanent staff levels. It's also more positive than the financial year that was, when 42% of employers increased their permanent headcount but 20% decreased it.

According to Hays, operational management departments will lead this jobs growth, with 56% of employers indicating they'll add to their headcount in this area.

They are predicting strong growth in engineering departments, project management, in purchasing/procurement, and sales and human resources while 41% of employers say they'll add to their information technology headcount, 30% to their marketing team and 20% to their accountancy and finance department.

In engineering, as well as civil engineers, there is likely to be demand for structural engineers and design drafters while skilled change managers are in high demand due to large enterprise-wide digital technology projects and transformation programmes.

Business development managers and salespeople with a proven ability to understand their customers are also sought after, along with outbound sales and telesales candidates to maximise all opportunities to grow revenue through existing and new customers.

UI/UX designers and front end developers are wanted as start-ups, SMEs and large organisations are all striving to create the best user experience for end customers while data analysts are needed to manage data and gather insights that lead to targeted calls to action.

Also in demand are accountants with data analysis skills as traditional finance roles evolve and blur the boundaries between finance and IT and business improvement and corporate planning professionals are sought after as government departments move to shared service models and organisations streamline corporate functions.

Other professions listed by Hays include financial planners with a degree, residential property managers, architects with BIM/REVIT skills due to ongoing demand for new homes and facilities managers with service provider or consulting experience.

There are also particular regional demands. For example, construction and property lawyers are needed in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.