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Published on July 4th, 2011 | by


Skills shortages in New South Wales as tradies salaries boom

 A shortage of skilled tradespeople has left NSW employers struggling to fill key positions and is costing the state’s economy tens of millions of dollars in lost productivity., says The Daily Telegraph.

Skilled tradespeople – including electricians, diesel mechanics, welders, fitters, construction workers and gas fitters – topped the list of Manpower’s annual Talent Shortage Survey, which saw more than 50 per cent of Australian employers struggling to find staff, ahead of sales reps, engineers and executives.

“The rebuilding associated with natural disasters that we’ve seen in Australia over the past year or so is also exacerbating shortages in some of the trades and engineering areas as the rebuilds start,” Mr Crawley said. “Skilled fitters, mechanical and diesel fitters, are in massive demand at the moment, as are electricians.”

He said the skills shortage was also driven by development in the resources sector thanks to demand for iron ore in China, gas projects in Japan, and an emerging market in India, which had seen wage increases of up to a 100 per cent for some trades.

“For many of the large companies in the resources sector, the relative cost of labour to their overall expenses is much lower compared to many other industries, so it’s easier for them to offer more money to recruit staff,” he said. “There are instances of tradespeople earning $200,000 to $250,000 a year.”

Skills Australia chief executive Robin Shreeve said the NSW skills pool was being targeted by other states and it was difficult to retain top tradies as pay and incentives to go interstate were so attractive.

“Because NSW has a big vocational education and training system, people say that NSW is helping to alleviate skills shortages in other states because it trains so many people,” he said.”The other issue is complaints from some industries in the resources sector because fly-in and fly-out operations are recruiting people from NSW to go and work in other industries.””For every thousand skilled tradies leaving NSW, it’s probably costing the state in excess of $4 million in terms of lost economic activity,” he said.

Are you looking for a job in New South Wales ? Why not visit our Working Down Under site, or better still, visit Down Under Live in London and Birmingham to meet with recruiters looking for candidates to fill roles across Australia. The shows are on the 17th/18th September and the 24th/25th September.


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