Workers set for pay rise as fight for talent begins

by 29 Jul 2010

They say that every cloud has a silver lining, and amid concern over a national skills shortage, Australian workers could at least be looking forward to a decent pay hike.

According to the latest KPMG-prepared quarterly Clarius Skills Index released today (29 July), average annual earnings could rise by $8,200 within the next three years as the as the Australian economy continues to recover and acute skills shortages start to appear.

The report shows that already there is an emerging skills shortage across several occupations and the availability of skilled workers may become an issue for Australia in the near future.

The skilled labour shortage is expected to drive a 5.4 per cent annual increase in earnings over the next three years, and see unemployment rates drop below five per cent by early 2011.

Clarius Group chief operating officer, Kym Quick, said that the findings of the Skills Index and the implications it will have on wages and unemployment presented significant challenges ahead for not only employers, but policy makers.

“The developments have some implications on interest rates, the population growth debate and decisions about temporary skilled worker visas,” Quick said.

“The clear message for the employer from the Index is that they need to be prepared for a war for talent by ensuring they have the right skills now for their future demand and ensuring they have retention strategies in place to keep them there.”

A score of 100 indicates equal tension between labour supply and demand. Anything greater than 100 indicates a skills shortage. In the June quarter, the eight categories where there were shortages were:

· Building and Engineering Professionals (101.1)

· Computing Professionals (100.2)

· Building and Engineering Associate Professionals (100.8)

· Chefs (105.3)

· Metal Tradespersons (104.5)

· Automotive Tradespersons (101.5)

· Construction Tradespersons (101.7)

· Wood Tradespersons (101.8).

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