Digital Challenge


28th October, 2022

Jobs and Skills Australia legislation passes Parliament

Legislation passes Parliament to deal with the national skills shortage days after the new Government’s Federal Budget was delivered, writes Nina Hendy.

Legislation has successfully passed parliament this week as part of a plan to address significant skills shortages across the country.

The creation of a Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) body aims to build on the work undertaken by the National Skills Commission, with its primary task being to provide insights and guidance on workforce trends to government and industry groups.

The $12.9 million additional investment in this new body will allow it to identify and anticipate skills shortages across the economy based on the best available evidence.

It will also lead the development and delivery of a $12 million new National Study on Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Numeracy Skills that will provide an up-to-date evidence base on levels of foundational skills among Australian adults.

The announcement comes as part of a concerted push for the Government to quickly tackle worker shortages and wage growth in an increasingly dynamic jobs market.

READ: How leaders can best approach the war for talent

Charting a course out of the skills shortage

A lack of skilled workers is one of the biggest economic challenges facing Australia, Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor says.

“The Albanese Government recognises the urgency of the skills crisis facing the nation, which is why the swift passage of this legislation is such an important milestone.

“Jobs and Skills Australia will bring together unions, employers, state and territory governments to provide independent advice to government on current and emerging workforce needs.

“It will help improve skills development, employment opportunities and economic growth,” said O’Connor.

One of the ways in which JSA will achieve these things is by preparing a capacity study into Australia’s clean energy workforce to provide better analysis of the skills needed to support the clean energy transition.

“The expansion of new and emerging industries such as advanced manufacturing, technology and new energy will require a supply of highly specialised skills,” said O’Connor.

READ: Talent acquisition and building a modern workforce

Healthcare and tech: Occupations in shortage

According to the national Skills Priority List, healthcare workers and registered nurses are in severe shortage, with vacancies hovering at around 9,200 between June and August this year.

The annual point-in-time assessment of the labour market is a single source of intelligence on job occupations in shortage.

Released this month, the skills list shows that recruitment activity remains high.

Some 58 percent of employers reported recruiting in September this year, which was two percentage points higher than last month.

Stay in the know

Sign up for added insights and business-critical news from MYOB.

A valid email is required
Congratulations! You've successfully subscribed to our newsletter!
Something went wrong

The recruitment difficulty rate eased by seven percentage points to 67 percent of recruiting employers, which represents 38 percent of all employers.

Software and applications programmers were next most in demand, with internet vacancy job ads sitting at 7,841 for the same period.

A further 5,101 job ads were listed in the same period for aged and disability workers.

Other critical shortages persist in categories such as education professionals but also extend across a range of occupations including hotel managers, electronics and chemical engineers, research and development managers, chemical engineers, insurance brokers, dentists, hairdressers and sales representatives.