Skills shortage in Australia


There is a shortage of skilled managers in the hospitality and retail industries, with advertising and sales managers also in short supply, a new report has revealed.

The Clarius Skills Indicator, which found a combined shortage of almost 5000 skilled managers in those industries, reflects the need to build revenue streams across these sectors.

“Demand for managers is usually less sensitive to the fluctuations in the cycle of economic conditions as they tend to have high skill levels and extensive experience that employers are keen to retain,” says Kym Quick, CEO of the Clarius Group.

Quick says the need for managers in advertising and sales is due an increasing demand for skills to leverage the emerging and fast moving online and social media trends and technologies.

“In the hospitality, retail, and service industries, the shortage of managers is driven by comparatively stronger growth in retail sales, which includes sales at cafes and restaurants,” she says.

The Indicator also predicts a growing oversupply in the labour market, expected to rise from the current figure of 75 000 to 84 000 this December.

This reflects a 2012 trend where employers in different sectors were looking for candidates with broader skill sets, while also requiring current employees to work outside their job description.

“The hiring indecision among employers means candidates have to work hard to sell themselves and highlight their ability to multi skill and, more importantly, display a willingness to do so. They simply can’t be precious about what’s on the job spec,” says Quick.

Jobs currently oversupplied include clerical and administration, with a surplus of over 11 000 workers due to the labour demand for workers with less developed skills tending to be cyclical.

There are also over 1000 surplus engineering professionals, reflecting a weakening in demand for labour in the mining industry.

The Clarius Skills Indicator analyses data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations to measure oversupply and shortfalls for 10 major job categories.

These categories cover approximately 35 percent of the total labour force in Australia.