By Kate Southam
Redundancies are never far from the headlines these days but while some sectors are shedding staff others complain about not being able to find enough workers.
A recent Bank West Skills Shortage Survey found nearly 41 per cent of the businesses quizzed were taking three months or more to recruit a new staff member.
Bankwest business chief executive Ian Corfield said once the economy picks up to full steam in the next year or so skills shortages would be the hot topic once again just as they were in 2007.
Predictably shortages were worse in the big mining states of Queensland and WA where workers off to the mines had left holes behind proving hard to fill. Machinery operators and drivers were identified as particular areas of shortage.
Other skills in demand include locksmiths, agricultural workers and aged care workers.
To see a list skill shortages on the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website visit:
In the meantime, here are a few roles/sectors worth a look:
Transport/logistics - Drivers
With online shopping exploding so too has demand for people to deliver all those parcels.
As well as searching for jobs here on CareerOne using key words such as “driver” and “courier”, “delivery driver” or by sector, “transport & logistics”, job hunters can also look on the websites of courier companies. In most cases only a “C” class license is needed.
Pathology labs also use drivers as do a wide variety of companies that deliver goods business to business in small vans.
For other driving work such as heavy vehicles and forklift trucks special licenses are required.
Unless you are a qualified engineer or have a trade then it definitely helps to have a friend or relatives already working in mining.
People do cross into mining from a wide range of sectors and jobs from teaching to retail and office work.
There is a one day course people can do to see if the sector is right for them called Drill Down Mining http://www.drilldownmining.com.au/
The courses mostly take places in Queensland but a calendar on the website will show where other courses are being held and when.
Another way is to job search online and even visit the websites of the mining companies and look at their career sections.
As call centre is becoming increasingly automated the demand is now for “knowledge workers” – people with good, basic computer skills who can be trained to perform a range of tasks such as processing a company’s pay roll, or accounting and finance admin work.
“Broadly speaking, outsourcing is divided into three areas,” explains Martin Conboy, President of the Australian Business Process Outsourcing Association.
“Voice such as customer service, non-voice such as finance and HR back office work and ITO, which is skills such as code cutting, web development and data management,” he says.
Mr Conboy says IT help desk is a “cousin” of voice work.
A recent survey of employers with between 400 and 3,000 employees found more than 80 per cent would rather outsource work within Australia but Mr Conboy says skills shortages make this a challenge.
He says big areas of growth include print and document management, HR back office, finance and accounting admin and online marketing.
Use search using terms such as “BPO”, “outsourcing” and “social media” on job boards and employer websites.
The sector needs 400,000 extra workers over the next four decades so this is definitely a growing area.
While some of these roles are for trained nurses there are plenty of entry-level roles as well. Nearly a third of Australia’s population is now aged over 50 – seven million of the 22.3 million people – creating a sector that will see continuing demand in the future.
Stay open to different employment options such as part time, casual and contract work while keeping an eye out for your preferred permanent job. This will keep your work record current and money coming in.
Search online for “career expos” and make a note of when there is an event in your city so you can meet potential employers face-to-face.
For example, the National Careers & Employment Expo will take place in Adelaide this weekend. To find the other National Careers & Employment Expo events around the country visit:
The Herald Sun CareerOne Expo will take place in Melbourne in July.
CareerOne.com.au, May 2012