Australia is experiencing a mismatch between the skills jobseekers possess and those employers want, suggesting there is still demand for professionals in many industries from abroad.

Overall, despite an existing pool of labour, employers in Australia still find it difficult to fill jobs that require highly skilled professionals, according to the 2017 Hays Global Skills Index.


According to recruiting experts Hays, increased job opportunities in highly skilled industries and technological advances are behind this struggle to keep pace with labour market demand.

'Employers in industries such as IT, engineering, financial services and professional services have higher demand for talent than those in low skill industries,' said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

'The significant expansion of the wage gap between high and lower skill occupations year on year also underscores the talent mismatch. New technology is rendering routine and repetitive jobs redundant and leading to greater demand for higher skill workers relative to medium and lower skill workers,' he explained.

'Wages for the former, such as in digital, engineering, senior accounting and estimating, have continued to grow at around the same rate year on year, while lower skill occupations experienced much slower wage growth,' he added.

Meanwhile Australia's increase from 5.1 to 5.5 on the overall index, the highest since 2013, shows increased pressure in the job market. Deligiannis explained that this means it is harder to secure the right talent now than it was a year ago.

The index shows that in Australian readily available candidates are now less likely to possess the skills employers want and wage pressure in high skill industries is rising much quicker than in low skill industries relative to the past creating a shortage of suitable talent in high skill industries.

It also found that employers are trying to hold onto the talented employees that they have and are not using salary levels to compete for talent overall.

'Australia's fluid job market is delivering career advancing opportunities, but the talent required for these roles is changing. Highly skilled professionals are sought over those who perform routine or repetitive tasks that can be automated,' said Deligiannis.

'At the same time, the labour force is shrinking and is less likely to possess the skills employers want. Add wage stagnation and Australia's overall score has returned to 5.5, a figure not seen since 2013,' he added.