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Skills shortage at record low level

The number of occupations experiencing skill shortages has fallen to a historic low, with resource related vacancies now among the easiest to fill.

New figures released by the Department of Employment yesterday show shortages were more likely to be for trades than professions.

Food trades, hairdressers and automotive trades were the hardest vacancies to fill, while accountants, school teachers and ICT professions were the easiest.

The easiest locations to fill vacancies were Brisbane, Adelaide and regional Western Australia while the hardest were regional Queensland and NSW as well as Darwin.

Over the past financial year, large numbers of applicants competed for available jobs in resource related occupations, compared to 2012-13 when these positions were the hardest to fill.

The proportion of vacancies filled in resource related occupations last year jumped by 30 per cent to 84 per cent, by far the biggest increase in any category.

Due to the easing of con­dit­ions in WA and a tightening labour market in NSW, there was less disparity in the ability of employers to recruit skilled workers across the nation.

The department said it was “now relatively easy’’ to recruit in Western Australia, with the proportion of ­vacancies filled increasing by 15 percentage points to 78 per cent.

The softening in the labour markets has been more pronounced for professions than for technicians and trades.

“Employers recruiting for technicians and trades workers filled 69 per cent of vacancies in 2013-14, significantly lower than the 81 per cent recorded for professions,’’ the department said.

The highest proportion of vacancies filled was for school teachers and accountants at 88 per cent.

The lowest proportion of vacancies filled was in food trades, which fell eight percentage points to 51 per cent.

Hairdressers were unchanged at 54 per cent,while auto­motive trade was at 56 per cent, an increase of four percentage points.

For engineering trades, there was a large rise in the number of applicants per vacancy — 6.8 to 17.2 — and an increase in the proportion of vacancies filled (from 58 per cent to 70 per cent).

The department said competition from qualified applicants for professional jobs was strong.

Vacancies for ICT professions, engineering professions and accountants attracted large numbers — in excess of 35 per vacancy — of vacancies.

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

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