Skills shortage looms for services and manufacturing

by 23 Mar 2010

Employers in the manufacturing, construction and services sectors are concerned about a possible skills shortage as the economy kick-starts a return to growth, according to new research.

The latest Australian Industry Group/Deloitte CEO survey, Industry in Recovery Mode in 2010, suggests that growth in these industries, which represent 90 per cent of the economy, is going to be reasonably solid, albeit uneven, in the year ahead.

The report surveyed 514 CEOs from the manufacturing, construction and services sectors.

The manufacturing sector expects a 2.9 per cent lift, in the services sector employment is anticipated to rise by 2.3 per cent while the construction industry is expecting only a slight improvement of 0.5 per cent.

However, the survey found CEOs across the sectors are concerned about a possible re-emergence of skills shortages as the economy returns to growth and also concerned about how this will impact employment and wages.

Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, said the challenge for businesses will be to strengthen the recovery while addressing the ongoing requirement to build on the foundations of longer-term growth.

This includes getting the right skills within the industries, yet spending on training remains tight. Investment in training is set to grow conservatively in 2010, with manufacturing up 3.4 per cent, services 1.9 per cent and construction 1.2 per cent.


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