If you have certified trade skills and/or a professional qualification there will be work for most but not on your doorstep. The nature of skills shortages is they move around as the economic cycle changes in different locations and in every era you have had to be prepared to move to chase the opportunity.
As an recruitment agency we are the barometer of activity and bring the message of where the opportunities lie but getting the Employer and the Employee together remains a challenge.
Employers fail to reach out to the market place effectively in terms of time and communication and wait for matters to become critical before taking action.
We have written at length about global skills shortages and would also point readers to a recent article from a competitor as it touches upon how markets change and how you need to read between the lines when interpreting them. Sure the Australian mining sector is facing a downturn but that has been predictable for at least 2 years as it was clear that China would slowdown as market demand dropped. It was also clear that in the search to remain or improve competitiveness China and the other BRIC countries would look to invest in lower cost locations. This has always happened and indeed this plus political stability has underwritten Australia’s recent boom. However, when you read about it it sounds as if the end of the world is nigh but in reality all that is happening is an overdue correction that might take a couple of years to work its way through as alternative resources become available.
However, this doesn’t mean Australia is dead but it does mean its skills shortage mix is changing.
Aussies don’t want to do basic jobs (much the same problem the UK has had for the last decade) so you have 36,000 jobs available in tourism. OK, perhaps not the most glamorous work and because of Australia’s visa system best suited to the under 30’s who can take advantage of 417 working holiday visa. As the Aussie’s would say “Look mate, its work”
Rural jobs in farming are going unfilled. Sure you do need to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty but it is not the back breaking drudgery of yesteryear but you try getting the modern Australian out of the city and into the bush and you’ll be short changed. To sort this one out Australia will need to change its visa arrangements.
Construction – this looks like Australia’s next big own goal. Construction demand has been down, skills shortages more talked about than real with skilled tradesmen being unable to get positions. Local lay offs have occurred and many tradesmen have moved into other work during the downturn. Couple this with the fact that many of the best tradesmen are over 50 and you can see a potential problem arising that needs tackling now. If we are right and construction returns to growth in 2013 who is going to do the work? Will Australia be pulling retirees back in to work. They may have no choice. The old hunting ground for talent – the UK – has to pull many of these skills in from Eastern Europe and this proving to be inflationary.
Employers need to get ahead of the curve and not wait for a crisis and we are here to help. If you are experiencing skills shortages or anticipate the need to recruit in 2013 now is the time to start the process. If you would like to run through your recruitment needs please drop us outline details using our quick enquiry form we are specialists in cross border recruitment.
Author: Chris Slay
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