What skills do you need to get into Australia?

Published 2019-10-21 12:08

Australia has been grappling with ever increasing and challenging skills shortages in critical employment positions since 2008 and regarding some shortages as long back as 2004/2005. These shortages result because Australia does not succeed in filling vacancies from its own citizens. This is the case for Australia on a national and regional level where serious shortfalls are experienced in more than 200 professions found in its Occupation Skills Shortages List.

Why are there so many skills shortage vacancies

Skills shortages in Australia dating back more than a decade is largely the result of the rapid expansion and growth of Australia’s economy inter alia fueled by resource-rich states like Western Australia and Queensland. Vacancy rates have also increased because of accompanying problems like Australia’s aging population, labor market restructuring, inadequate training levels, and the fact that many of its qualified youth opt to seek jobs in other countries like the USA.

What is Australia doing to manage its Skills Shortages challenges

In 2017 Australia introduced its medium and long-term strategic skills list as well its short-term skills list that targets shortages on a national level as well in its 8 regions. The regions also have separate skills shortages lists. For the long-term strategic employment opportunities visas for four years are issued while jobs listed as short term receive visas for two years. A number of specific visas were designed to facilitate expedited recruitment processes for example the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa, Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa, Skilled Independent visa, Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa and Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa. In general, these are called Skilled Occupation visas where candidates are assessed against a points-based system. Australia’s individual states also sponsor specific visas in direct relation to critical shortages to be filled. A large number of Australian-sponsored marketing companies as well as private institutions are constantly highlighting Australia’s skills shortages on an international level and provide many services, including head-hunting and facilitating visa processes to get critical vacancies filled. 

Skills Shortages right now in Australia

The following is an updated Skills Shortages List indicating specific vacancies and locations.

  • Specialist Managers with a specific vacancy in New South Wales for a Child Care Centre Manager and Child Workers in all of the Australian States. 
  • Business, Human Resource, and Marketing Professionals with an emphasis on Accountants, especially in New South Wales.
  • Design, Engineering, Science and Transport Professionals with a need for Surveyors and Quantity Surveyors in all of Australia’s 8 regions, Civil Engineering Professionals in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, and Tasmania; Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in New South Wales and Tasmania, and Architects in Victoria.
  • Educational Professionals with a focus on the following: Early Childhood (Pre-primary School)- and Special Education Teachers in the Australian Capital Territory; New South Wales and Tasmania) and Secondary School teachers in New South Wales.
  • Health professionals including vacancies for Medical Diagnostic Radiographers, Sonographers, Optometrists, Physiotherapists, Audiologists, and Midwives in all Australian States while there is a specific need for Registered Nurses in New South Wales and Queensland; Occupational Therapists in Northern Territory and Tasmania; and Hospital and Retail Pharmacists in Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia.
  • Engineering, ICT and Science Technicians like Construction Estimators are needed in all Australian States with specific need for Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians in Northern Territory; Queensland, Tasmania, and Victoria; and Architectural Draftspersons in Victoria.
  • The need for Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers are high in most if not all Australian States and include vacancies for Automotive Electricians, Motor Mechanics, Sheetmetal Trades Workers, Metal Machinist (First Class), Locksmiths, Panel beaters, Vehicle Painters, Motorcycle Mechanics, welders, Fitters, and Metal Fabricators. 
  • Construction Trades Workers needed in all Australian States include Bricklayers, Stonemason, Painting Trades Workers, Glaziers, Fibrous Plasterers, Solid Plasterers, Roof-, Wall-, and Floor Tilers.  Plumbers are needed in New South Wales; Northern Territory; Victoria and Western Australia while Carpenters and Joiners are needed in Queensland and Victoria.
  • Electrotechnology and Telecommunications Trades Workers required include electricians in New South Wales, Northern Territory and Victoria; and Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics for all Australian States.
  • Health and Welfare Support Workers needs include Enrolled Nurses in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Food Trades Workers vacancies in all Australian States include Pastrycooks, Butchers, or Smallgoods Makers and Chefs.
  • Skilled Animal and Horticultural Workers like Arborists and agricultural consultants/scientists are needed in all Australian States. 
  • Other Technicians and Trades Workers needed in all Australian States include Hairdressers and Cabinetmakers.
  • Child Care Workers (Certificate III and Diploma) are needed in Northern Territory, while Queensland also needs Child Care Workers.