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Short of skills despite weak jobs market

Jobs growth has been sluggish for most of the past couple of years, but some skills remain in demand.

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations keeps tabs on skills shortages.

And their latest figures show a range of skills are still in short supply, putting jobseekers in the box seat.

Positions employers are finding hardest to fill range from automotive trades to hairdressing.

At the other end of the scale, school teachers, nurses and information and communications technology (ICT) professionals are easiest to find when a position is vacant.

There’s a proviso with these figures – they can be a little out of date.

And, since the global crisis knocked the economic world off its axis in 2008, the proportion of occupations in shortage has fallen.

Between 2007/08 and 2012/13 the proportion of industries surveyed by the department recording skills shortages fell from 85 per cent to just under 30 per cent.

And with the number of people with jobs rising at below average pace, and the unemployment rate rising through 2012/13 and into the current year, it’s likely that any shortages will have abated.

Overall, recruitment of professionals in 2012/13 was already “relatively easy”, according to the latest report.

Some skills are still in strong demand.

“Health diagnostic professions (which includes occupations such as sonographer and optometrist) were the hardest professional vacancies to recruit, with 66 per cent of surveyed vacancies filled, down by 6 percentage points compared with 2011/12,” the department said.

Employers of technicians and trades workers had more trouble filling vacancies than those looking for professionals.

“Shortages of automotive trades workers persist with slightly more than half the surveyed vacancies filled and an average of 1.1 suitable applicants per vacancy.”

But some areas are becoming noticeably tougher for jobseekers.

“There was a marked easing in demand for engineering technicians and electrotechnology and telecommunications trades workers.

“There is now relatively strong competition for these vacancies with high numbers of suitable applicants per vacancy.

“Positions for school teachers and ICT professions were the easiest professional vacancies to fill.”

Reinvent Your Career would like to thank Yahoo! 7 Finance where this article first appeared.

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