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Skills Australia’s Workforce Needs Now!

Aside from practical work skills, since the world started turning digital but still remains human (back off robot people!), the workforce is finding a critical need for human interaction and people skills in the job market. This is amplified with our ageing population, the growing need for mental health support services, and the long term effects of COVID-19.

People skills are necessary tools that all employers from most industries are actively seeking. The ability to have constructive interactions with others, work in a team, and support each other to achieve a common goal are probably the most important fundamental skills sought by managers.

Many industries that are expected to experience major skill shortages (if they aren’t already),are sectors that require people skills the most.

These people skills include:

  • Empathy

Working alongside vulnerable people mainly requires an ability to understand and care. Industries such as Health Care, Social Assistance, and Early Childhood Education are serving people with complex needs and difficult life situations. To become an employee and thrive in the workplace, the employee must develop empathetic skills and handle complex situations with compassion and patience. This sector will indeed create a rewarding career for future employees who are passionate about helping others with empathetic awareness.

  • Teamwork

Considering the critical labour shortage, companies are sharing the workload more and more among team members. The collaborative effort of teamwork is highly regarded, and knowing how to connect with other people using common interests creates a positive work environment. The Hospitality and Tourism sector is one of the key industries that consider teamwork skills a top priority, along with many other industries that rely on teamwork including construction, health care and more.

  • Positivity

A positive personality would stand out when competing with other potential candidates in any industry. Employers are seeking people who can inspire and motivate their team, creating a strong professional rapport. It’s true when they say ‘smile and the world smiles with you!’ Demonstrating an authentic, positive personality can open doors to your dream career path, whatever industry you work in.

  • Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills are highly regarded people skills in both current and future workplaces. Being able to remain calm when addressing issues as they arise and come up with a solution that leaves customers satisfied is a s skill that all employers rate highly. While most industries require problem-solving skills, Information Technology and Health Care are industries that requires constant problem-solving skills while remaining calm in a crisis.

  • Adaptability

In a fast-paced work environment and a rapidly changing world environment, employers are looking for candidates who are adaptable to circumstances and constant change. An adaptable person may know how to adjust a schedule if unexpected issues arise. If there is one thing that Covid-19 taught us all, developing an adaptable mindset, with the ability to learn from your environment and others, is an essential people skill for survival in the workforce.

How bad is the skills shortage in Australia? 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data reveals that almost a third of businesses are struggling to find suitable workers. Current data shows there are over 423,000 job vacancies available all over the country, while the unemployment rate sits at 3.9 percent, the lowest it has been since the 1970s.

Industries experiencing critical labour shortages

While many industries are needing staff, the National Skills Commission has released the Skills Needs List  which provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for occupations nationally. Due to the pandemic, almost every industry faced difficulty in achieving their staffing needs, however, some industries are facing a major skill crisis.

These industries include:

  • Hospitality and Tourism sector
  • Health Care and Social Assistance sector
  • Early Childhood Education sector
  • Information Technology sector
  • Trades and construction
  • Management professionals
  • Engineering sector
  • Accounting sector
  • Project management sector
  • Agriculture

The above sectors are recorded as “strong” for future demand in the work force. There are many other sectors that also fall under this category. View more: Skills Needs List

The Apprenticeships Priority Needs List is based on the Skills Needs List and shows apprenticeship qualifications that are the focus to meet the skills needs of workplaces and these apprenticeships attract wage incentives for employers.

Are you ready to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing workforce?

BUSY At Work provide a range of programs that can help you enter or support your career path. Visit

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