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Skill shortage in WA


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This article appeared in the WA Chamber of Commerce's Business Pulse Magazine Nov/Dec 2007

Business braves

Skills shortage storm



Business confidence in the WA economy has remained strong despite a vast majority of employers complaining that the State’s ongoing labour shortages are having an adverse impact on their ability to do business.

The results of the September quarter Commonwealth Bank - CCI Survey of Business Expectations found more than 80 per cent of participating firms believed the WA economy will remain strong or strengthen over the next 12 months, boosted by stronger operating conditions.

However, the State’s labour shortage remains a major issue of concern for a majority of WA businesses. A record 76 per cent of the 344 survey respondents described labour as scarce in the September quarter, up from 75 per cent in June 2007, and 70 per cent in September 2006.

The labour shortage is placing additional pressure on business to provide greater incentives to attract and

retain staff, highlighted by the survey’s index of non-wage labour costs reaching a record high in the September quarter. The feature question put to participating fi rms in the September quarter survey

focused on the issue of labour shortages and gauged business views on the most effective ways to tackle the problem in WA. Overall, the survey found that labour shortages were widespread across all industries and occupation groups.

Occupations in greatest need continued to be tradespeople, with more than 26 per cent of respondents finding these workers to be in short supply. However, a large proportion of employers were

also searching for extra professionals (21 per cent), and labourers and junior workers (16 per cent).

The results indicated that overcoming the State’s labour shortages should be a priority for state and federal

governments if WA businesses are going to have the capacity to continue to expand and grow in the future.

With regards to policies to address labour shortages in WA, the response was fairly mixed. The majority of respondents indicated migration would be most effective in addressing their current and future need for workers. Almost 20 per cent of respondents to the survey favoured permanent migration, while a further 17 per cent supported expanding temporary migration programs. Other strategies identified by the survey

included skills training (31 per cent), improved housing affordability (15 per cent), and Fringe Benefit Tax exemptions for childcare (9 per cent).

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Hi there,

Any website where this report/survey can be accessed?


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  • 2 weeks later...

The skill shortage in the Australian Home Building Industry gets worse. The report from their Association states: See http://hia.com.au/

"As per the latest Report, all thirteen residential construction trades surveyed remain in short supply with Adelaide, Regional Queensland, Brisbane, and Perth the most severely affected by skills shortages on the back of solid building activity."

Survey states:


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Hi All,

Back from Perth LSD yesterday and read in the paper that last year 170 000 people immigrated to Aus and according to a study they need to increase that over time to 250 000 per year in 2021 just to keep up with development that side!!

Also new houses are now taking 18 to 24 months to buils due to skills shortage!!



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  • 2 weeks later...

Howzit buggers !

I currently have two very successful businesses in S.A. One concentrating extensively in civil construction and commercial construction. The other focusing on home building, we also manufacture very upmarket solid timber kitchens,stairwells,pubs,sun decks etc. I employ a workforce of around 200 where on average 60 are skilled. We will turnover around R 25 million - R35 million this financial year.

Sadly though I am just sick of the current situation in S.A and tired of swimming against the odds. I am 30 years of age, married and have 2 adorable naughty little boys. I am an active member of Round Table and play a strong role in the community. I have had to make the same difficult decision that all of you have made and have decided to start the process of immigration. It is sad that S.A is losing so many skilled young entrepreneurs such as myself.

I need a sponsor ! I would love to work in O.Z in a similar field and 'learn the ropes' so to speak. Please be so kind as to advise me on how best to get a sponsor. I will be visiting Australia and New Zealand for 3 weeks in march.I will be traveling alone and the main purpose of my visit is to investigate the potential in the construction sector related to my field.

It would be greatly appreciated if any of you boertjies could accommodate me for a night or two on my visit.

Chat soon !

Edited by monty
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Hi Monty

It is not very clear what you want to do here, but working for someone to start with is a good idea because construction, contracting and work culture here is completely different. Now being a entrepreneur you will already be faced with a challenge to work for someone else. You might find that you are actually unemployable. Most construction make use of sub-contractor and owner operators. Regulation is strict and immigrants require re-certification in most fileds. You will go a long way if you are able just to learn, absorb and looking for opportunities during the first 12-months. Don't tell them to much about your successes (they hate that). Project Management skills are also in demand.

I would suggest that contact the following Associations, they will be able to assist with certification requirements:

a. Housing Industry Assoc

b. Australian Tile Counsel

c. Master Builder Assoc

d. Master Plumbers and Gas Fitters Assoc

e. Construction Contractors Assoc

f. Electrical contractors Assoc

g. Wall & Ceiling Association

h. Airconditioning & Mechanical Contractors Assoc

i. Cabinet Makers Assoc

You can PM me, I may be able to assist you if you provide more detail.

Hope it helps!

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