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Labour shortages aren’t going anywhere in 2022

  • January 06 2022
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Labour shortages aren’t going anywhere in 2022

By Jon Bragg
January 06 2022

Businesses have called for borders to be reopened to help solve labour and skill shortages.

labour shortages aren t going anywhere in 2022

Labour shortages aren’t going anywhere in 2022

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  • January 06 2022
  • Share

Businesses have called for borders to be reopened to help solve labour and skill shortages.

labour shortages aren t going anywhere in 2022

Nearly four in 10 Australian businesses are currently suffering from labour shortages, according to a new survey released by NAB.

Thirty-eight per cent of medium-sized businesses and 37 per cent of large firms reported that labour shortages were having a “very significant” impact, while 31 per cent of small businesses said they had been impacted by the issue.

More than half of the 1,600 businesses surveyed by NAB said that reopening state and international borders would help solve labour shortages.

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“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,” said NAB chief executive Ross McEwan.

Businesses also suggested increasing traineeships and apprenticeships (47 per cent) and increasing migrant intake (45 per cent) as potential solutions.

Looking ahead, 44 per cent of large firms expect that labour shortages will still be a significant issue over the next 12 months compared to 39 per cent of medium businesses and 31 per cent of small businesses.

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

Trade workers (35 per cent) and professionals (32 per cent) were the most common types of shortages identified by businesses, followed by sales workers (20 per cent) and labourers, general unskilled labour and machinery operators and drivers (19 per cent).

NAB found that construction was the most affected sector as 48 per cent of construction businesses had been very significantly impacted by labour shortages, and 50 per cent anticipated the issue would remain throughout the next year.

The mining (42 per cent), manufacturing (39 per cent) and personal services, accommodation, cafes and restaurants (38 per cent) sectors also reported very significant impacts of shortages in recent months.

Businesses in Western Australia had suffered from labour shortages the most, according to NAB’s survey, with 44 per cent impacted in the past three months and 43 per cent anticipating the issue will remain during the coming year.

Western Australia also topped all other states in calling for state (82 per cent) and international (68 per cent) borders to be reopened.

A report by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) released last month found that nearly two-thirds of businesses had been affected by labour shortages.

Businesses identified the issue as the second-most important priority for the government to address in the short term behind climate change.

“There are many factors at play that will need a whole-of-government approach to tackle Australia’s skills shortage,” said AICD managing director and CEO Angus Armour.

Labour shortages aren’t going anywhere in 2022
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