Engineers and skilled trades, along with doctors and non-nursing health roles, are among the most difficult to fill in Australia at the moment, according to new research.

Top of the bunch is skilled trades as a construction boom driven by large infrastructure projects across the states of Victoria and New South Wales is sustaining demand with engineers also needed in this sector.

Next most in demand are management executives, sales reps, IT staff, accounting and finance staff, doctors and non-nursing roles, technicians, office support staff and drivers, according to ManpowerGroup's latest Talent Shortage Survey.

Overall, some 38% of Australian employers' report difficulties filling job vacancies due to talent shortages. According to Richard Fischer, managing director, ManpowerGroup ANZ, the results reveal a slight softening in Australia's labour market with the percentage of employers struggling to fill roles dropping under 40% for the first time in over nine years.

But this does not mean there are plenty of opportunities for people from overseas looking to move to Australia as many of the occupations on the list are also on the official Government and State lists of in demand skills for visa sponsorship.

And Fischer pointed out that the current economic outlook for Australia means that it is unlikely this talent shortage figure will continue to drop significantly. 'Especially when looking at highly skilled industries such as the IT sector, where demand is likely to rise even further in the coming years as roles around integration of mobile application, solutions and cloud computing rapidly increase,' he explained.

The survey, of more than 1,500 employers in Australia, showed 23% said a lack of experience is the main reason they cannot fill positions, followed by 21% finding that there is a lack of available applicants and 20% a lack of hard skills.

worker-constructionIn terms of the hardest skills to find, for the tenth consecutive year, skilled trades ranked number one with engineers in second place. 'Skilled Trades has topped the list for difficult roles to fill for the past decade,' said Fischer.

'Previously, this was linked to creation of roles through the mining boom. Now, although we continue to unwind from this period, we have shifted into a construction bonanza, driven by large infrastructure projects across Victoria and New South Wales. This has seen sustained demand for specialist skilled trades and engineers,' he added.

He also pointed out that technology has shifted market demands and has dramatically changed the way people work, not only reshaping existing roles but creating completely new jobs that were unheard of only 10 years ago.

'With so many new fields emerging, it's becoming increasingly more difficult for organisations to find the right talent with the needed experience. We're seeing an increased importance on what we call 'learnability', which is the desire and aptitude to learn new skills. This attribute will help individuals become and stay employable throughout their career journey, and materialises a trend we believe will continue over the coming years,' concluded Fischer.