Skills shortage compounds need for migrant workers

CCIWA is stressing the need for safe access to skilled migration, as WA’s skills shortage continues to put pressure on the jobs market.

WA skills shortage

A recent CCIWA nationwide survey found that more than half (55 per cent) of WA businesses are struggling to fill a vacant role.

But the situation is no better on the east coast. The survey also found that 63 per cent of NSW businesses, 57 per cent of Queensland businesses and 56 per cent of Victorian businesses were struggling to find skilled workers.

In addition, Australian businesses are engaged in a bidding war for skilled workers – with more than half (54.8 per cent) reporting suitable candidates decline their job offer due to better wages elsewhere.

This data comes ahead of the WA Skills Summit this Friday (July 30), where CCIWA will present its case for a risk-based approach to skilled migration.

CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell said these results showed WA may now be able to secure workers from the Eastern States.

“These results dash WA’s prospects of poaching east coast workers to fill our skills and labour shortages,” he said.

“The scarcity of skilled workers emerged as the biggest barrier to growth for WA businesses this year, but the rest of Australia is also experiencing acute demand pressures.”

Only a quarter (28 per cent) of WA businesses say they expect to be able to fill all the critical gaps in their workforce from Australian workers – highlighting the extent to which WA relies on overseas workers.

Rodwell said these results underscored CCIWA’s key markers for the upcoming WA Skills Summit, which are:

  • the need for a plan to safely access skilled migration from overseas;
  • to create more space in our quarantine system;
  • more options for safe home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals; and
  • applying a risk-based approach to lockdowns, once vulnerable cohorts in Australia have been vaccinated.

For help and guidance on navigating COVID-19 restrictions, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or [email protected].

CCIWA’s COVID-19 website has up-to-date information about the pandemic’s impacts on WA business.

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