Is Australia facing a skills shortage? According to a recent Manpower Group survey of more than 1500 companies, 38% of respondents reported challenges filling job vacancies directly attributed to talent shortages in 2016.
Skilled trades topped the survey’s list of jobs most in demand in 2016, with consistent demand for specialist skilled trades, followed closely by engineers, management, sales representatives, IT staff, accountants and finance staff and health professionals.
Increased automation and a shift from a commodity to a service economy are fuelling demand for a workforce that has the right skills and qualifications.
So, how do you nab these roles?
For employees looking to grow their professional prospects, upskilling is key to getting these in-demand roles – and sometimes key to keeping roles.
A recent survey by training.com.au found that 41% of employees identified qualifications and skills as a major limitation that was standing between them and their desired profession.
“We discovered that employees – or those looking for employment – regardless of their age, feel that their qualifications or lack thereof stand in the way of achieving their dream job,” says training.com.au marketing director, Mike Thomas.
The 2016 SmartCompany SME Directions Survey further highlighted the importance of employees taking responsibility for their own upskilling – with only 25% of business owners seeking to invest in their staff training (including upskilling).
And, with 43% of those surveyed planning on seeking alternative employment in the next three years, education – or professional development – is going to be key.
One of the major challenges that presents itself when people think of upskilling or pursuing additional qualifications is finding time. This is especially true of those who are already in full-time employment and lack the means to return to study as a full-time student.
Thomas adds, “Online courses, or hybrid online-offline courses, provide learners with an opportunity to study around their existing commitments. Learners have a world of flexibility with modern study options and this freedom unlocks the benefits of further training to individuals who previously had to forgo upskilling entirely.”
According to training.com.au’s survey, 54% of respondents who planned to study or upskill in the next three years indicated that they preferred a hybrid approach to education. A further 29% preferred a wholly online delivery – a significant majority, which is causing education providers to take notice and redesign the delivery of courses to meet the needs of modern learners.