Job fo­cus

Cara Jenkin re­ports

The Advertiser - Careers - - Front Page -

EF­FORTS to train up in­de­mand work­ers are show­ing fruit, with the num­ber of oc­cu­pa­tions with skills short­ages fall­ing in the lat­est Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, Em­ploy­ment and Work­place Re­la­tions fig­ures.

Fifty-three per cent now have too few skilled staff com­pared to 57 per cent in 2010 and 75 per cent in 2007.

DEEWR’S lat­est na­tional skill short­ages re­port finds em­ploy­ers filled 62 per cent of their va­can­cies in 2011, up from 61 per cent in 2010, with 1.7 suit­able ap­pli­cants for each­va­cancy, also up from 1.6 in 2010. But one in two oc­cu­pa­tions still has a skills short­age and 40 per cent of job va­can­cies go un­filled.

In spe­cific oc­cu­pa­tions the skills short­age is acute, in­clud­ing among engineers, re­source in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, child-care work­ers, health ther­apy staff, nurses, au­to­mo­tive trades, some en­gi­neer­ing and elec­trotech­nol­ogy trades and food trades. Au­to­mo­tive trades work­ers are the most dif­fi­cult to re­cruit, with 43 per cent of va­can­cies filled and 0.9 suit­able ap­pli­cants for each va­cancy. They are fol­lowed by food trades and en­gi­neer­ing as­so­ciates – less than 60 per cent of their va­can­cies were filled. Michael Tozer (pic­tured on cover), a 29-year-old spray­painter, says he has been in the in­dus­try for a decade. ‘‘I started off in the me­chan­i­cal in­dus­try but pre­ferred do­ing smash re­pairs,’’ he says. ‘‘There is a short­age of spray­painters be­cause peo­ple don’t have the drive to get the job done and bet­ter them­selves. It’s a high pres­sure job so maybe that’s why there is not as many peo­ple in the job.’’ Work­ers in SA are en­cour­aged to look at train­ing to get in-de­mand skills, with short­ages only ex­pected to worsen, mostly be­cause min­ing is fore­cast to ex­pand sig-

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