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Skills shortages go beyond mining

More than two-thirds of large companies are prepared to hire foreign workers in the face of difficulties finding skilled labour here, a national survey has found.

A survey by the Australian Institute of Management found the shortage of skilled labour is not confined to the mining industry.

Companies found it tough hiring suitably qualified people in professional and technical trades, sales and marketing, construction and engineering.

AIM’s head of research Matt Drinan said the recent decision to grant mining billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project an enterprise migration agreement had focused on skills shortages in Western Australia.

“However, mining companies comprise a relatively small proportion of Australia’s employers and our data indicates that the effects of skill shortage is being felt across a broad range of industry sectors and job functions, nationally,” Mr Drinan said.

When the federal government announced last month that 1700 foreign workers could be brought in under an EMA for Mrs Rinehart’s project, the decision sparked controversy from unions. But more than half the 511 companies surveyed across the country in March said they employed foreign workers.

The survey found 50 per cent of companies in business and professional services, and 47 per cent in banking, finance and insurance also faced difficulty in recruiting suitably qualified staff.

It found 93.5 per cent of companies had paid an average salary increase of about 4.1 per cent to some employees in the past year. WA recorded the biggest salary increase at 4.7 per cent, while Victoria and Tasmania had the smallest at 3.8 per cent.

The highest wage rises were recorded for the mining industry at 5.75 per cent, followed by 4.94 per cent for business and professional services, 4.75 per cent for utilities, 4.62 per cent for construction and engineering, and 4.47 per cent for banking, finance and insurance.

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

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