General News

Workforce shortages now affecting 9 in 10 businesses 

Over 90 per cent of businesses are experiencing workforce shortages, according to the 2022 Workforce Skills Survey, from the state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW.  

The annual survey of over 600 businesses across the State was conducted through the last week of May and first week of June and showed that almost every business in NSW has unfilled vacancies.  

“The business community in NSW is facing its most significant workforce challenge in more than 50 years,” said Business NSW Regional Manager Jane Laverty. 

“The survey results clearly indicate it is a whole of workforce issue – with almost half of businesses reporting that it is as equally difficult to fill entry level positions as experienced roles,” Mrs Laverty said.   

“The NSW Government is very aware of these challenges and is investing heavily in our homegrown skills pipeline and accelerating fee free training to help more people get the skills they need for the jobs we need to fill.  

“Our report identifies further key areas for action, primarily by the Federal Government, including:  

  • Increased Vocational Education and Training (VET) funding in the new National Agreement for Skills to bring down the costs of training.  
  • An indefinite extension to the hugely successful Boosting Apprentice Commencements (BAC) initiative.  
  • Introducing or extending initiatives to support people into work.  
  • Simplifying the migration system, increasing skilled migrant numbers, reducing employer fees and cutting visa processing times. 

“The recent NSW Government announcement of a further 70,000 fee free training spots – which is on top of the 100,000 fee free apprenticeships – will deliver job ready builders, hairdressers, carpenters, chefs, electricians and workers in the early childhood and aged care sectors. But training takes time and action is needed now to support businesses who are crying out for staff.   

“There’s no doubt we need the new Albanese Federal Government to not only increase the number of skilled migrants, but also cut the complexity, time and cost for businesses to bring people to NSW and encourage the return of more working holiday makers and international students to make a contribution. 

“We simply do not have the workers to meet the needs of our businesses and coordinated action is needed urgently to fill those gaps,” Jane Laverty said.   

About Business NSW  

Formerly the NSW Business Chamber, Business NSW is the peak policy and advocacy body which has been representing businesses in NSW since 1826.

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