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Massive skills shortage compounded by lack of youth-training programs

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HC Online | 26 Jul 2012, 12:00 AM Agree 0
The skills shortage is set to tighten even further over the next 15 years and demand for high-level professionals will increase more than twice as rapidly as supply.
  • Jeremy Lomman | 26 Jul 2012, 02:40 PM Agree 0
    If Australia has a 'massive skills shortage' then where are all the jobs for the work that is not getting done? Does 'skills shortage' refer to the productivity of the existing workforce or not enough bums on seats? I have read a squillion of these articles about the skills shortage occurring in industries that have absolutely no intention of recruiting anyway.
  • in the wings | 26 Jul 2012, 05:40 PM Agree 0
    This story has been doing the rounds since the 1980s. Only the time frame for catastrophic demise changes. Industry is mostly to blame for the predicament they are in. When I started my first tertiary qualification we were wooed with internships. In my first year internships dropped from 500 to 50. In the second year they disappeared all together. When I specialised my employer required me to obtain qualifications that were no longer offered anywhere in Australia. A deal was done between my employer and TAFE to deliver a 2 year course in 2 weeks to a hand full of employees. Everybody was screaming about the skills shortage but other than feeble band aid approaches similar to that supplied by my employer, nothing long term has been done to alleviate the problem. All anyone appears to be interested in is being seen to do something hence yet another report.
    I suggest that organisations stop looking at themselves in isolation and seeing relevant vocational training as an expense and become the movers and shakers of their industry. Yes training can be expensive and yes employees can leave once they have been trained. It needs a special type of employer to allow an employee to leave with your blessing knowing that they will add to the greater good of the industry. An important step that employers don't perform well is keeping in touch with employees with potential. If they feel appreciated and part of a team even when they work for someone else they will consider coming back. They will bring new skills, abilities and knowledge with them. The whole industry can benefit from this bigger picture behaviour. None of us is as good as the sum of us. It is high time we stopped the rhetoric and started fixing the problem.
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