A study conducted by one of the country’s leading banks, nearly four out of ten Australian businesses are suffering from labor shortages.
The National Australia Bank (NAB) Business Insight Report, released on Tuesday, was based on responses from approximately 1,600 businesses across a wide range of industries from mid-November to mid-December last year.
NAB CEO Ross McEwan stated that bringing talent into Australia would be critical to improving the employment situation.
“Australian businesses are facing significant skilled and unskilled labor shortages. Almost every employer I talk to, from cafés, tourism, agriculture and manufacturing, is saying ‘we can’t get workers,'” McEwan said.
“To get the economy really firing, we will need to bring people into Australia and make sure, as a nation, we’re building a skilled workforce for the future,” he added.
According to the report, labor shortages are a “very significant issue” for 38% of medium-sized businesses and 37% of larger firms, compared to 31% of small businesses.
Approximately one-third of Australian businesses, the most common types of labor shortage are a lack of trade workers (35%), and a lack of professionals (32%).
Western Australia (WA) had the most pressing need for workers, with 44 percent of businesses reporting that labor shortages had had a significant impact in the previous three months.
On the other end of the spectrum, only 24% of businesses in Tasmania, an island state, reported such a problem.
WA also has the highest expectation of labor shortages in the next 12 months (43%), followed by New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory (all 39%), South Australia and the Northern Territory (36%), and Tasmania (36%). (20 percent).
McEwan stated that data scientists, digital experts, and technology skills were in high demand throughout Australia’s economy.
“At NAB, we’re doing a lot of work to retrain and invest in our workforce and we now have more than 2,000 colleagues who are certified cloud-computing practitioners,” he explained.