An ongoing shortage of high level skills in Australia and foreign workers will be needed as the country is not producing the right skills pipeline.

According to the Hays Global Skills Index, employers are particularly facing problems recruiting for highly skilled jobs such as financial analysts, estimators, specialist nurses, software developers and digital marketing specialists.


Employers are facing problems recruiting for highly skilled jobs such as financial analysts, specialist nurses, software developers and digital marketing.​

The Index, which assesses the efficiency of the skilled labour market in 30 countries, or its ability to supply skilled labour, found that in Australia the labour market is still not producing the right skills.

The Index scale ranges between zero and 10, with the higher the index score, the greater the difficulty for employers in findings skills. A score greater than five indicates skill shortages; less than five indicates few if any signs of skills shortages. So a score of 5.5 for Australia suggests employers face difficulty when recruiting for high skill jobs.

'As the Abbott Government settles down in Canberra, boosting employment should be a priority. But central to this is arguably the biggest thorn in the side of Australia's labour market: the ongoing shortage of higher level skills,' said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

Unemployment is expected to rise in 2014, as confirmed by Treasurer Joe Hockey earlier this month as employers still struggle to attract highly skilled and experienced professionals.

'It is a bitter paradox caused by employers being unable to find the skilled workers they need, particularly in more technical areas such as IT, construction and engineering. Demand is not evident in every function in every region of Australia, but we are seeing sustained demand for high skill professionals,' he pointed out.

'So instead of a balanced labour market where employers can easily recruit, retain or replace their key talent at generally prevailing wage rates, a shortage of professionals for jobs in high skill industries and high skill occupations is still evident,' he added.

The overall Index score is the average of seven indicator scores. Three indicators explore the supply of talent, namely education flexibility, labour market participation and labour market flexibility. One looks at talent mismatch. The final three are wage pressures indicators, looking at overall wage pressure, wage pressure in high skill industries and wage pressure in high skill occupations.

Deligiannis said that there is a widening in pay differentials between high and low skill industries and economic conditions alone do not explain why employers find it hard to recruit the right talent, despite unemployment.

'The jobs market needs to deliver the talent necessary for businesses and ultimately societies to thrive. It is critical for education authorities and businesses to work closely to ensure educational systems are designed to provide students with the skills that their future employers require,' he added.