News, Culture & Society

Australia’s most in-demand jobs revealed as skills shortage leaves popular occupations desperate

The most in-demand jobs in Australia are revealed as the nation’s dire skills shortage leaves a number of popular occupations desperate for workers

  • Almost a third of occupations in Australia are experiencing worker shortages 
  • There are 301,000 job vacancies as economy recovers from Covid pandemic 
  • The worst hit is nursing, with 9,266 vacancies, according to a new report
  • Computer programming, aged care and construction management also hit

Almost a third of all occupations in Australia are experiencing worker shortages – as the nation looks to other countries to fill our hundreds of thousands of job vacancies.  

Australia currently has 301,000 jobs up for grabs as the economy recovers from the Covid pandemic, with the shortage of skilled workers now stretching across 286 occupations.

Though the overall list of jobs experiencing severe shortages has blown out to 31 per cent, the situation is far worse in some areas than others. 

The worst hit is nursing, with 9,266 vacancies, according to a National Skills Commission (NSC) report released before a state and federal jobs meeting on Thursday.

The nursing shortage is followed by computer programming (7,841 vacancies), aged and disability care (5,101) and construction managers (4,948). 

There are more nursing vacancies in Australia than in any other occupation. Pictured are two nurses at Gold Coast University Hospital

Childcare workers, motor mechanics, retail managers, chefs, business analysts and metal fitters make up the rest of the top 10 in-demand occupations. 

‘The staggering jump in occupations listed reinforces the urgent need to tackle skills shortages,’ Skills Minister Brendan O’Connor told the Sydney Morning Herald ahead of a meeting with his state counterparts in Melbourne. 

The ministers will discuss a five year funding plan worth up to $3.7billion, which is a holdover from the defeated Coalition government which could not reach an agreement with the states over how the money would be spent. 

Though a final deal is unlikely to be reached on Friday, more details of the $1.1billion promised to fund an extra 180,000 fee-free TAFE places may be announced. 

The funding was agreed at last month’s Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra. 

With Australia recovering quicker from the pandemic and being less affected by the war in Ukraine than many countries, there were 301,000 job vacancies in August. 

This was a rise of 37 per cent on job vacancies a year earlier, and skilled worker shortage is putting pressure points on the federal budget to be handed down on October 25. 

The NSC report revealed 129 occupations have been added to the skills shortage list in the past year.

The new additions include beauty salon managers, teachers, neurosurgeons, blacksmiths, meat boners, slaughterers, bus drivers and scaffolders. 

Construction managers (pictured) and civil engineers are on Australia's list of skills shortages

Construction managers (pictured) and civil engineers are on Australia’s list of skills shortages

‘The past year has shown a significant tightening in the Australian labour market, and the findings of the 2022 (list) reflect this, with a large proportion of diverse occupations in shortage,’ the report says.

‘The ongoing effects of Covid-19, along with the changing economic landscape, have influenced a range of challenges in many occupations.’

Jobs with the highest vacancy rates in Australia 

Registered nurses – 9,266 vacancies

Software and applications programmers – 7,841 vacancies

Aged and disabled carers – 5,101 vacancies 

Construction managers – 4,948 vacancies

Child carers – 4,549 vacancies

Motor mechanics – 4,316 vacancies

Retail managers – 4,244 vacancies

Chefs – 4,141 vacancies

There are 7,841 vacancies in the software and applications programmer sector in Australia. Pictured is a woman using a computer screen

There are 7,841 vacancies in the software and applications programmer sector in Australia. Pictured is a woman using a computer screen

ICT business and systems analysts – 3,830 vacancies

Metal fitters and machinists – 3,565 vacancies

Cooks – 3,438 vacancies

Electricians – 3,396 vacancies

Civil engineering professionals – 3,268 vacancies

Contract, program and project administrators – 2,842 vacancies

General practitioners and resident medical officers – 2,306 vacancies

Early childhood (pre-primary school) teachers – 2,253 vacancies

Physiotherapists – 1,482 vacancies

Mining engineers – 1,048 vacancies

Gardeners – 1,038 vacancies

Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers – 868 vacancies

Source: Australian Government