September 25, 2022

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Australia will be left scrambling to find carers, electricians, chefs and more as the growing skills shortage bites harder in coming years.

Government projections have identified the top 10 jobs that will be in need of a new influx of trained workers in the coming five years.

Immigration levels are slowly rising post-pandemic, but Australia’s previous stringent lockdown laws have left people wary of travelling down under for a job.

Construction and engineering jobs are going to need filling in the near future, the government says. (Louise Kennerley)

It’s an issue the government hopes to address with its upcoming jobs and skills summit next month, as well as increased spending on vocational education and training.

Here are the top 10 professions the government believes are looking at critical shortages.

  • Construction managers
  • Civil engineering professionals
  • Early childhood teachers
  • Registered nurses
  • ICT (information and communications technology) business and systems analysts
  • Software and applications programmers
  • Electricians
  • Chefs
  • Child carers
  • Age and disability carers

It’s clear what sectors have grown since the turn of the century – though some things are less changeable.

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Chefs are also going to be in high demand. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Property and business services (37,900 vacancies)
  • Retail trade (21,200 vacancies)
  • Manufacturing (13,100 vacancies)
  • Health and community services (10,600 vacancies)
  • Finance and insurance (6300 vacancies)
  • Accommodation, cafes and restaurants (6000 vacancies)
  • Government administration and Defence (5400 vacancies)
  • Wholesale trade (5100 vacancies)
  • Construction (5000 vacancies)
  • Education (4700 vacancies)

Deloitte Access Economics’ employment forecast has pinpointed many of the same issues the government is facing.

“Net overseas migration was positive for the first time since the onset of COVID. More than net 29,000 people arrived in the December 2021 quarter, although that only unwinds around 26 per cent of the net 113,000 people lost to overseas migration over the previous 18 months,” report lead author David Rumbens said.

“The good news is that there are still more people arriving in Australia permanently, or long-term, than there are leaving – a strong indication that net overseas migration in Australia was positive through the first half of 2022, albeit a fraction of what it was before the pandemic.”

Rumbens said the jobs and skills summit offered a “rare opportunity” for government, business and unions to collaborate.

Deloitte partner Fiona Webb said Australia’s “needlessly complex” skilled migration system needed to be overhauled.

“The highest order priority is to clearly signal to the world that Australia is open for business. Our pandemic-era border policies created a lingering level of uncertainty among potential skilled migrants,” she said.

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“They want to know they will be able to get in and out of the country without complication and have greater certainty about longer term options to remain in Australia – that is, pathways to permanent residency.”

Deloitte forecast slower economic growth for Australia amid the impact of inflation running ahead of wages, rising interest rates, and weaker global economic conditions.

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