How will employers manage skills shortage in 2023?

23 January 2023

two women looking at a desktop screen in an office.

Latest unemployment figures will put the onus on employers to resolve the skills shortage in 2023, said an industry spokesperson today.

“It’s common for employees to think about their career in the new year, but employers should also take the opportunity to reflect and plan their workforce needs for the coming year,” said the Daniel Valiente Riedl, General Manager, JobAccess.

This is even more relevant with Australia’s low unemployment rate and the skills shortage impacting talent acquisition and retention, he said.

Latest figures show Australia’s unemployment rate is 3.4 per cent , according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This could result in increased demand for skilled workers among Australian employers, particularly with the ongoing skills shortage still impacting industry.

“Employers must think about how to manage their workforce over the next 12 months and be mindful of the potential challenges facing organisations in the new year,” Daniel said.

“The drop in Australia’s unemployment rate will only intensify competition between employers. The Covid pandemic put a halt to employers bringing in overseas workers to fill any gaps, and whilst this is starting to change, there are still related challenges.

“While this may ease Australian employment woes, with more workers coming in, there is also a chance that Australian workers may choose to take their skills overseas, resulting in further competition.”

What can Australian employers do?

It is the perfect time for employers to start considering the benefits of employing people living with disability, especially when it comes to managing their workforce over the next 12 months.

Only 53.4 per cent of people with disability are in the labour force, compared to 84.1 per cent of people without disability, ABS figures show, meaning there is a large, untapped talent pool out there.

“The disparity between people with disability in the labour force and those without is enormous. It’s the perfect opportunity for employers to utilise this untapped talent pool. Not only are the numbers there, but also the quality of jobseekers,” Daniel says.

JobAccess can help you prepare

Employers of all sizes can access a wide range of JobAccess services for free and at any time. Large employers can access JobAccess’ National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC) service, a free, 12-month partnership designed to help employers access the skills and talents of people with disability.

NDRC Professional Advisers work closely with employers to develop workplace practices and policies from the lens of a person with disability, deliver workplace training and provide guidance on good practice.

Employers can also utilise JobAccess’ Employer Toolkit, a free, self-learning resource designed to support disability employment initiatives for small and medium employers. Short video lessons and downloadable resources in the Toolkit equip SMEs to hire people with disability and take the right steps to support them in the workplace.

Seeing Machines makes the most of JobAccess support

Technology company Seeing Machines successfully utilised JobAccess’ services prior to the opening of its new monitoring centre in Canberra.

The company uses state of-the-art technology to help prevent accidents and improve safety through real-time driver monitoring and reporting of high-risk behaviours.

The opening required the intake of new staff, with Seeing Machines eager to encourage candidates living with disability to apply.

A dedicated NDRC Professional Adviser supported Seeing Machines on a range of employment matters, starting from a tailored recruitment review.

“The NDRC’s input helped us modify job advertisements to demonstrate our openness to employing people with disability. We also adapted the interview process to ensure accessibility and improve the overall candidate experience,” said Learning and Development Manager Gillian Smith.

The NDRC also supported Seeing Machines to organise workplace adjustments and modifications through JobAccess that could be reimbursed through the Australian Government’s Employment Assistance Fund.

Disability awareness training carried out by the NDRC to more than 50 employees across all departments and management levels had a significant impact in the workplace, Gillian said.

Employers can visit the JobAccess website to find out more about the services available to them and access free resources to support disability employment.

Alternatively, for free, expert and confidential advice on matters relating to the employment of people with disability, contact JobAccess at 1800 464 800.

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