Surging labour demand on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic is adding to Australia’s deepening skill shortages, with the number of occupations struggling for workers nearly doubling in the past year.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said many of the most in-demand professions require a university qualification, highlighting the role universities play in a strong economy.
“Australia’s skilled workforce has long laid the foundations from which our economy grows, and we need more of these workers to continue driving our success and prosperity,” Ms Jackson said.
“Universities educate skilled workers across the whole economy – from engineers and health professionals to lawyers, teachers, and information technology specialists.
“Many industries would not be able to operate without these workers who start their career journey at Australia’s world-class universities.
“That’s not to mention the flow-on impact university-educated workers have on sectors beyond their own, such as the engineers who design and analyse the infrastructure projects that create thousands of construction jobs, or health workers who keep members of our communities safe and healthy.
“Universities have always been economic drivers – either through producing skilled workers, pioneering inventions, or developing new advancements to drive Australia forward.
“That’s never going to change. It is essential we have the right policy settings to support the role universities play in ensuring Australia can respond to current and future workforce challenges.”
Universities Australia has developed a number of practical solutions to, working in conjunction with government and industry, address Australia’s critical skill shortages: Skilling Australia for the future