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Skill Shortages and the In Demand Jobs in Australia

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Overtime and going home late is now a work health and safety issue

What skills and jobs are in shortage in Australia?

Are you looking for a new career? Why not get into an industry that is actively looking for employees? If you don’t know where to find these jobs in shortage, don’t worry!

The Australian Government has done most of the leg work by surveying employers across the country to find out which ones are having problems recruiting candidates. Now you can find out which industries are hiring and how to prepare to get work in them.

We’ve identified some of the top opportunities in the report and you can find out all about them here. If you’re a numbers person, you can head on over to the Department of Employment website to check out the raw data published on August 2014. For everyone else, we’ve done the hard work for you. Read on to see where shortages and recruitment difficulties have created high demand jobs in Australia.

1. Child Care Workers: Shortage

A shortage of child care workers is happening in Australia

Ask a parent how hard it is to find a childcare provider and you’ll start to see why there is such demand for child care workers!

There is a shortage of child care services in many parts of Australia. This has lead to a boom in the number of child care providers, all of which need qualified staff. At the same time, the government has brought in rules which restrict how many children can be in the care of each early childhood educator. This means many child care providers now need more carers to look after the same number of children.

Carers now also need either a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education, or better, a Diploma of Early Childhood Education in order to work in child care. Employers report one of the biggest problems they have when filling jobs is finding people with a Certificate III or Diploma of Early Childhood Education qualification and experience working in child care.

As a result, there has been a shortage of child care workers for the last 5 years and it’s likely this shortage will continue. In fact, the Government reports project strong growth in child care, with another 50,000 jobs to be added between 2013 and 2018.

How to Apply for a Job in Child Care

First start studying the Certificate III or Diploma of Early Childhood Education. If you are enrolled and working towards your qualification, you are actually able to start seeking work in registered Australian child care services.

You can also develop experience by working as a nanny, au pair, volunteering or working in private outside normal hours care services. Once you have got your qualification, you could also start your own family day care business, which will mean you can care for children in your own home.

2. External Auditors: Hiring Difficulty

Hiring External Auditors has become difficult in Australia

Do you work in accounting or are you interested in becoming an accountant? Mid sized accounting firms have reported problems finding enough qualified External Auditors. They have particular problems finding candidates with 4 years of work experience.

This means there are opportunities if you are willing to earn additional qualifications and work on developing experience in this area. This is a highly skilled position, which involves designing financial reporting systems, procedures, and controls. Employers prefer to hire candidates who are qualified and experienced in accounting and are already (or working towards becoming) a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA).

How to Apply for a Job as an External Auditor

Ideally, you will have a bachelor’s degree in Accounting which typically takes 3 years of study to complete. You can then work towards your CPA certification which requires additional experience and training completed through CPA’s own accreditation program.

However, if 3 years and a full degree are too much for you right now, you can choose to study qualifications like the Certificate IV in Accounting or Diploma of Accounting instead. These are shorter qualifications that you can complete quicker and for much less expense than the cost of a full degree. This means you can apply for work in the accounting right away and start developing the experience you need.

You can also take advantage of some tax incentives to continue your studies in accounting in the future if you are already working in the industry.

3. Hairdressers: Shortage in Metropolitan Areas

Australia needs you to save it from “bad hair days”!

Hair salons in the country Hairdressers are in shortage in Australia's metropolitan areashave reported a shortage of hairdressers willing to work part time in unisex salons and specialist barbers. Around 80% of vacancies were in metropolitan areas and only half of the positions in were filled during the survey year. This means there are good opportunities if you are a qualified, experienced hairdresser looking for work-life balance.

Employers report lack of experienced candidates as one of their main problems when trying to fill jobs. Interestingly, poor job interviews were often the reason candidates were rejected by employers, so brush up on those interview skills!

How to Apply for a Job as a Hairdresser

Hairdressing requires a trade qualification so you’ll need formal training to work in this industry. First, complete a course such as the Certificate II, III or IV in Hairdressing or even the Diploma of Salon Management. Depending on your state, you may need to complete an apprenticeship and gain formal registration before you can start work. Check out the Service Skills Australia website to learn more.

4. Chefs and Cooks: Shortage

Chefs and Cooks in Australia are in shortage

Australia is hungry for workers who know their way around the kitchen! With shortages of professional chefs and cooks, today is the perfect time to hone your culinary skills and start your new career!

Employers in wide variety businesses, including hotels, restaurants, catering companies and even child care centers reported problems finding enough people with the right qualifications to fill jobs. This included everything from entry level positions up to executive chefs with years of experience in specific cuisines.

How to Apply for a Job as a Chef or Cook

Most employers require you to hold a formal qualification such as the Certificate III or IV in Commercial Cookery. To get into senior positions, you also need experience in related skills like supply ordering and developing menus.

It is important to note that while hiring managers reported plenty of qualified applicants, only a small number were actually found to have enough experience for the job. This means that apart from holding the right qualification, experience is important to separate yourself from the pack.

5. Software Engineers: Hiring Difficulty

Hiring software Engineers is a difficult task

Do you have programming skills and can you be trusted to keep sensitive classified data confidential? Government agencies in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra are looking for people with those exact qualities!

Government bodies in capital cities on the East Coast have reported problems finding good software engineers who can get the right security clearance. Software development firms and the finance industry also had the same problem. In fact, only 58% of job vacancies in the ACT were filled during the survey with 94% of applicants found unsuitable for the job.

How to Apply for a Job as a Software Engineer

Almost all employers require applicants to hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering or a related qualification. Typically 2 to 3 years of general software engineering experience is required for entry level positions, while candidates applying for PhD level positions need the appropriate qualification and 5 years specialist experience.

How to Get Your Security Clearance in Australia

You need to apply to the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency or AGSVA. They have 4 levels of security clearances and you can only apply for clearance with the endorsement of the government agency where you will work. Normally you will be told when to apply for clearance during the recruitment process. It usually takes 4 to 24 weeks to receive your clearance.

Skill Shortages Summary

One of the most common reasons employers could not fill jobs is a lack of qualified, experienced candidates.

What does this mean for you?

Identify the shortage you want to fill and make a plan to get there! Start earning the qualifications you need to get your job and find ways to develop the skills and experience you require to get the job you want. Invest in yourself and you may end becoming exactly the candidate hiring managers need.


Information was current at time of publishing, but check for updates to the reports here.


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