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Extreme phase: engineers and accountants in short supply

 ENGINEERS, IT professionals, corporate services managers and accountants continue to be in short supply across Australia, research shows.

The Clarius Skills Index for December also shows an ongoing shortfall of company secretaries, auditors, and advertising and sales managers.

Clarius chief executive Kym Quick said that although overall there was a skilled labour surplus, shortages in some areas have moved into a critical phase and will hinder Australia’s competitiveness.

The skilled labour surplus of 27,800 across the 20 occupations examined was up from a 19,500 surplus in the September quarter and was mainly due to seasonal factors.

The index showed that skills gap closed across the board, indicating that workers were moving from over-supplied occupations to those that are under-supplied.

Ms Quick said that as the economy transitions from growth led by the mining sector to growth from the non mining sector, movement across occupations and industries was likely to increase.

She said economic indicators show that consumer confidence had reached a two-year high and with US employment figures improving and growth in China stabilising there should be more job opportunities opening up in Australia as the year progresses.

“Sentiment plays a strong part in hiring decisions,” she said.

“Post GFC, world macro events led to depressed local sentiment but positive economic signals are now reversing poor business sentiment and this should lead to increased hiring activity.”

Ms Quick said employers were currently seeking effective retention strategies to head off a senior talent drain when the job market really opens up in mid 2013.

Employees are looking for learning and development opportunities, career progression, flexibility and work life balance as incentives to stay.

Courtesy of

 Administrator’s note:

Obviously having more jobs available for Australian workers is the goal, but for one reason or another –and  despite recent knee-jerk announcements by the new Labour Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor about the 457 visa program  – there are clearly still significant areas of skill shortage in Australia.

In response to the Minister’s statements on the 457 visa program,  if he is serious then he should allocate extra funding for DIAC to  use the enforcement powers that body already has (which were strengthened in September 2012!)  rather than spout more ‘get tough’ talk.  Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater! More laws with only make it harder for legitimate employers who are struggling to find skilled staff in key industry sectors.

Unless errant employers are monitored and sanctioned for breaches of their sponsorship obligations, more restrictive rules will only make the system more cumbersome and bog it down with red tape. Employers who are inclined to rort the system, don’t do it because the laws are lax, they do it because there is little DIAC compliance. More tough laws are pointless without enforcement.

Still on the 457 visa program; perhaps the government should listen to someone other than the unions who have a vested interest in preserving their own influence and don’t appear to appreciate that the 457 visa program has a wider application than simply the trades.