SPECIAL: Australia Faces Severe Labour Shortage


About four in 10 Australian businesses are experiencing significant impacts from the Covid-induced labour shortages, new research by one of the nation’s leading banks revealed on Tuesday…reports Asian Lite News

The Business Insight Report, released by the National Australia Bank (NAB), was based on responses from about 1,600 businesses across a broad range of industries from mid-November to mid-December last year, reports Xinhua news agency.

NAB CEO Ross McEwan said bringing talent into Australia would be the key to alleviating the employment situation.

“Australian businesses are facing significant skilled and unskilled labour shortages. Almost every employer I talk to, from cafes, tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing, is saying ‘we can’t get workers’,” McEwan said.

“To get the economy really firing we will need to bring people into Australia and make sure, as a nation, we’re building a skilled workforce for the future,” he said.

The report said that 38 per cent of medium-sized businesses and 37 per cent of larger firms viewed labour shortages as being a “very significant issue”, compared with 31 per cent of small businesses.

Lacking trade workers (35 percent) and professionals (32 per cent) are the most common types of the labour shortage, according to about one in three Australian firms.

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By state, Western Australia (WA) had the most pressing need for workers with 44 per cent of businesses saying labour shortages had made a very significant impact over the past three months.

At the other end of the scale, only 24 per cent of businesses in the island state of Tasmania reported such a problem.

WA also leads in expectations of labour shortages over the next 12 months (43 per cent), followed by New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory (all 39 per cent), South Australia and Northern Territory (36 per cent) and Tasmania (20 per cent).

McEwan said that data scientists, digital experts and technology skills were in high demand right across the economy in Australia.

“At NAB, we’re doing a lot of work to retrain and invest in our workforce and we now have more than 2,000 colleagues who are certified cloud-computing practitioners,” he added.

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