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How to fill one of Australia's skills shortages

by Andrianes Pinantoan

You may have heard the term ‘skills shortage’ but what exactly does it mean, and how could they affect you? It’s pretty simple; if an industry sector can’t find enough people with a particular skill-set to meet the employment demands on offer, that’s called a ‘skills shortage’. There are lots of reasons why skills shortages happen; like too few workers with the right qualifications, labour issues, recruitment difficulties and trouble retaining current staff.

Here’s an idea: If you’re looking for work or thinking about changing careers, there could be a good chance of getting a job in an occupation where there is a shortage of qualified workers.

Often job seekers will be offered better wages and/or improved conditions, as these industries are sometimes actively trying to attract workers.

In some cases, you might even have a better chance of promotion or career acceleration if you are an employee with the desired skills.The My Future website explains this.

So this is a real problem then?

Skills Shortages are a valid and current problem, so much so that the Australian government actually publishes a full list of the industries experiencing them at the Skills Shortages Home Page.

Here at Open Colleges, we thought we’d point a few out and give you a few examples of industries you might have an interest in, and then highlight some flexible courses that could allow you to get into these jobs more easily.

It makes sense!

Skills Shortages in Child Care

Everywhere in Australia, literally hundreds of childcare centres are advertising for qualified workers, but there simply aren’t enough. The Age has recently said that by 2014, every childcare worker in Australia must have, at a minimum, a Certificate III qualification. That means there are now nearly thirty thousand unqualified childcare workers who must get their certificates in the next 2 years.

There is also talk in the industry that wages will go up for those employees who are willing to gain their Cert III or higher. The Australian newspaper recently wrote that “the Gillard government is considering a $1.4 billion-a-year subsidy to private sector childcare providers as a wage top-up for their employees.” Put simply, if you’ve been needing an incentive to get into this industry or to formalise your current skills, this is it.

Online courses available in Child Care:

We have an Ageing population!

We can all agree on one thing, the Australian population is ageing. This means that more people are needed to work in jobs that support older Australians in their later years. Aged Care is a skilled profession that is getting more professional as new reforms are implemented and further training is encouraged. Some states and territories are harder hit than other but on the whole, Australia faces a shortage of 105,000 age care workers by the end of this decade, according to Sarah Hoque at the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.

Think you could be inspired to care for older Australians and to help them in staying as independent as they can? If you want to get into this lucrative and secure industry of professional health care, you don’t need to go to university or TAFE, you can begin your study in your own time, around your current commitments with Open Colleges. It could be the start of a rewarding new career. You could start any of these courses today.

Online courses available in Aged Care

Care about the rights of others?

The National Disability Services association says there will be more job vacancies opening up by 2014 than there are currently employees in the sector, so this could be a good area to find work in. 1 in 5 people in Australia has a disability and as the population ages, this is also set to increase (as many of us become disabled later in life as we age).

Working with people with disability is rewarding, interesting and not as challenging as you may think. The JobAccess government website says that when working with a person with disability, it is important to consider their goals, strengths, skills and resources rather than their disability. If you are looking for a career change, or if you have current experience with a person with disability, maybe you should consider doing a course online to help you get a job in this sector. Skills shortages can equal jobs, but only if you meet the qualifications!

Online courses available in the Disability Sector

So…Think outside the square!

Getting a dream job (and staying in it) can be easier if you move into an industry or sector where there is current demand. Think about what you’re good at, what you enjoy and what you want from a career; for example, flexibility, job security, or the ability to work in a different state, location or town.

With Open Colleges you can study online in so many career areas, gaining qualifications that are recognised Australia-wide. It’s a lot more flexible and affordable than you might think!

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