Adaptability is Key to Australia’s Future Workforce, Says Vivid Panel

Australia is facing new challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining a high potential workforce, according to a panel of leading experts and the latest data revealed by Indeed, the world’s largest job search engine.

Tapping into a talent pool possessing the skills to drive growth and innovation remains a significant challenge for Australian employers with about half of the hardest to fill Australian jobs in tech skilled roles.

Set against this, Indeed data also shows highly qualified graduates are forced to take jobs in unrelated fields. Australia is currently experiencing employment rates not seen since the 1992-93 recession.

Speaking at a Vivid Ideas panel, Chief Economist at Indeed, Tara Sinclair, says despite education rates being at the highest levels in history, the challenges facing job seekers and employers alike are huge.

“In Australia, graduate employment is at the lowest rate since the recession in the early 1990s with many highly-qualified graduates struggling to find jobs related to their qualifications,” she said.

“At the same time, employers are reporting undersupply of applicants for a range of technical roles such as computer science, accounting, and engineering – as well as the fast-growing healthcare sector.”

Roy Green, Dean of UTS Business School says these changes are due to Australia’s shift from mining towards a knowledge based economy.

“We are at the end of the resources boom and are adjusting to the non-mining economy. We don’t know what this looks like and at the moment, we’re not very well prepared,” he says.

“This doesn’t mean it is too late, we can still make the transition; it means shifting to an economy that’s competitive advantage is based on a knowledge-based market and recognising that a lot of the products we are focussing on today won’t be around in ten years.”

Migration may help to alleviate some of the skills shortages in Australia. Indeed data shows that Australia is an attractive prospect for job seekers with the most searches coming from Singapore, Auckland and London.

Those aged 21-30 are most likely to search for Australian jobs and these jobs feature a mix of technical positions such as teacher, software engineer and accountant.

the biggest obstacles to migration right now are the high costs of living and housing affordability, particularly in Sydney which is unlikely to change any time soon.

Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community & Outreach Manager at Google says we need to be clearer with students and the way they connect their study with career outcomes.

“We need to change the way we market to students with careers and outcomes. We’ve always talked about a linear perspective on careers, however we need to focus more on skill-sets needed and experience beyond the degree.”