Jobs and Skills Australia’s 2023 Skills Priority List confirms more professions are grappling with shortages now than they were in 2022 – most of which are among high-skilled occupations.
The analysis also shows the proportion of jobs in shortage has doubled in the last two years.
“Australia is in a major skills crisis – the repercussions of which will continue to be felt far and wide if not addressed quickly,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“We need a strong labour force to drive the productivity gains and economic growth needed to continue underpinning a strong and sustainable standard of living for all Australians.
“Universities, together with vocational education providers, do a lot of this heavy lifting.
“We are relied on to educate the skilled workers our economy needs more of, but we can’t keep doing our job for the nation without the right policies and funding.
“Consistent changes to policy and funding settings have resulted in caps on university places, confused market signals for students and a lack of investment in infrastructure and research.
“The Albanese Government has an opportunity through the current review of higher education to reverse a decade of poor policy decisions that are hampering universities. It’s time to act.”
Jobs and Skills Australia’s national jobs and skills roadmap, released today, acknowledges the need to strengthen the higher education sector.
“Australia’s need for skills and knowledge is growing all the time and universities have a major role to play in meeting this demand,” Ms Jackson said.
“The latest data tells us we need more nurses, teachers, engineers and IT professionals to respond to national challenges like the energy transition, digitalisation and national security.
“Closer collaboration between tertiary providers and industry is a key focus of JSA’s roadmap and we support moves to ensure universities and TAFEs can work in a complementary way.
“After all, nine out of 10 new jobs will require a post-school qualification, half of which will need a university degree.
“A strong university system working hand in glove with the TAFE and vocational education sectors will support the strong economy Australia needs to grow and prosper.
“The full support of government to perform these tasks is surely in the national interest.”