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Skilled jobs stay vacant longer, survey shows

Businesses are being weighed down by the shortage of skilled workers, with two in five companies finding it difficult to fill job vacancies, new research from Bankwest shows.

“Australian businesses are clearly feeling the pinch of the skills shortage, with 41 per cent reporting that it takes more than three months longer to recruit staff than it did a year ago,” Bankwest Business Chief Executive Ian Corfield said.

“Businesses are seeing this as a significant issue and are therefore doing what they can to attract skilled performers, whether it’s improving benefits packages or recruiting workers from interstate and overseas.”

Offers of better pay packages and incentives have been dominated by companies on the west coast with 63.4 per cent of firms in Western Australia and 55.8 per cent in Queensland offering more lucrative salaries than companies in other states.

Difficulty in recruiting staff has led to longer hours for existing employees, with two-thirds of firms reporting an increase in overtime payments.

This has resulted in more firms turning down new projects because of staff shortages.

“Businesses are in the difficult position of having to turn new work away, a tough decision to make given the uncertain economic environment,” Mr Corfield said.

There has also been a shift in which positions are harder to fill, with 45 per cent of companies finding it difficult to find candidates with three to seven years’ experience, compared with 40 per cent in 2010.

“There is a larger pool of inexperienced candidates on the job hunt, graduates or those looking for their second job,” Mr Corfield said.

Reinvent Your Career would like to thank The Australian where this article first appeared.

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