Current and Future Skills Issues

There has been a number of things in the press in the recent about the economy of WA and the impact of a new ‘Skills Shortage’ such as this article that refers to an Access Economics report stating things such as:

“Access said $250 billion in resource and other projects in WA were creating an unprecedented demand for skilled workers.”

…and…

“WA already has too little spare capacity, so it will soon see a swag of wage and price increases as skill shortages and delivery dates proliferate.”

Add to that mining bodies flagging the need to more skilled migrants to support the industry and you start to get a picture that we are heading back into the highly competitive times for recruitment and retention within organisations across WA.

It brings back that dreaded work that our Premier has told us not to mention… “Boom”… but you are starting to hear it more regularly and see it in the press… however there is no simple resolution to the need and demand for skilled workers.  It needs to be a combination of education and training as well as migration / immigration.

It is also interesting to see the PM’s comments at a recent CEDA event over east about the need to skill up Australian under-employed and unemployed to help this process – however all press has not been completely complimentary.

So the challenge for the WA (and Federal) government is to somehow manage to increase the number of workers available to enable the ‘Boom’ to happen so that the billions of dollars of investment in projects can be realised… this is afterall the powerhouse of the country (and even more so with the big wet hitting our sister resource rich state – Qld).

At the same time we still need to somehow make the most of the next ‘Growth Period’ by diversifying our economic base here in WA…

Anyone say “Knowledge Economy”…  more on this soon.

Tom

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