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Australia Needs 800,000 Skilled Workers

Posted: 14/08/2012 5:00:00 AM by Kyla Jones, Site Director, Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Job-seekers, Mining, Oil-and-gas, Construction


A new forecast on workforce composition shows skilled occupations will continue to be in demand over the next five years. The Australian newspaper reports 800,000 new workers are required to ensure economic growth. The analysis was conducted by the Gillard government in an effort to prepare the nation for significant changes in the job market.

No future in low-skilled jobs

With an expected loss of 85,000 more manufacturing jobs, government is putting pressure on business to create new policies and training to accommodate the demand for professional and trades skills. The report shows only 7% of all new jobs created in the five year period will be suitable for unskilled or low skilled workers.

Bill Shorten, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, addressed the advantages to having professional qualifications or a skilled trade.

“If the demand for skilled workers increases, the person with skills is going to be able to choose the job they want,” he told The Australian.

The government forecast predicts all but one of the 20 strongest job categories will require qualifications higher than that achieved in secondary school.

“The structural change in the Australian labour market and the significant shift towards higher skills occupations will limit the opportunities available to job-seekers without appropriate levels of qualification, work experience and employability skills,” the analysis says.

Resources industry still a driving force

The report shows the resources industry will continue to demand skilled workers. Queensland will need 220,000 additional workers while Western Australia will be looking to fill 150,000 new roles. Mining companies alone will require about 100,000 new skilled workers.

What this means for jobseekers

It’s imperative for Australian jobseekers to acquire a skilled trade or professional qualification if they expect to find employment. As the country moves away from traditional manufacturing and labouring skills, the workforce needs to upskill, reskill or train to take advantage of the many job openings coming over the next five years. Anyone with good qualifications or skills will be able to enjoy a diverse selection of career opportunities.

For more information about upskilling and retraining, check out the Training and Development section of the Careers and Industry Guide. The time has never been better to explore the possibility of recognition of prior learning (RPL), as well.

What do you think?

  • If you have skilled qualification, why not consider a job in mining, energy or oil and gas? Make sure you visit our industry jobs board where we only advertise real jobs by real employers.
  • You can now subscribe to our blog and newsletter from one handy form. We’re publishing new information all the time about employment in the Australian resource industry.


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