While the Jobs Summit talks about skills, we predict which profession…

(MENAFN – The Conversation)

This article is part of The Conversation series on the Labor Jobs Summit. Read the other articles in the series here.

Skills shortages are expected to be a key theme at this week’s jobs summit. With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in a generation, employers and consumers are looking for solutions.

To understand where the shortages are, researchers can survey employers or count the number and duration of vacancies. These methods are useful for determining where shortages exist, but not so useful for anticipating where new shortages might appear.

At Victoria University, we have created a model-based analysis in which the likely supply and demand trajectories of many types of jobs are predicted. This will be useful in anticipating where shortages might appear over the next two years.

Read more: Yes, we know there is a ‘skills shortage’. Here are 3 job summit ideas to start tackling it right away

For jobs where supply does not follow demand, the model finds that wages increase relative to the average wage. And for jobs where growth in supply exceeds demand, the model finds that wages fall relative to the average.

Although business groups are calling for an increase in immigration, we do not take this into account in the analysis. Instead, we focus on how to organize the people we have (which already takes into account the abundance of immigration) into the jobs that can best provide the goods and services that consumers want. or what they need.

Forecasting the economy through mid-2024, we’ve categorized the occupations most likely to experience shortages or surpluses into four groups.

1. The offer is struggling to keep up

High wage growth, high employment growth jobs are where we traditionally think of labor shortages.

For these jobs, demand is high and supply will struggle to keep up. Most jobs in this group will be demanded by local consumers as our spending returns to normal after the pandemic.

They include jobs such as teaching assistants who assist teachers in schools, personal carers and assistants in the care of disabled and elderly people, and several construction-related roles, which require certificate-level qualifications .

Nursing is another job where supply will struggle to keep up. Nursing requires at least a bachelor’s degree, which means new nurses cannot be trained quickly.

2. Jobs no one wants

Then there are the “jobs no one wants” (at least, as this analysis suggests). These are jobs that employers will find difficult to fill, even if the growth in demand is not very strong.

Most of these roles require either a certificate or no post-school qualifications, and can be physically taxing or have inherently difficult working conditions.

This category includes prison security guards, truck drivers, food preparation assistants (who do the dishes, prepare fast food, and help chefs prepare ingredients), and bricklayers.

3. Attractive professions

The jobs with low wage growth are the attractive jobs. Remember that in the modeling, if the supply of an occupation is high, it will lower wage growth.

We find attractive jobs are those that require bachelor’s degrees or higher qualifications. Young people are twice as likely to have these qualifications as older Australians. Three in ten people between the ages of 25 and 34 have a bachelor’s degree, compared to only three in 20 people over the age of 55.

As the older cohort retires and the younger cohort enters the workforce, the supply of workers with a bachelor’s degree will increase, creating a strong supply of lawyers, engineers, accountants and of architects.

Although these jobs are modeled to have relatively slow wage growth, they are generally well-paying white-collar jobs with good conditions and fulfilling work.

4. Attractive but declining jobs

These are jobs for which demand is expected to grow relatively slowly over the next two years, for a variety of reasons.

Unlike the jobs no one wants, these jobs shouldn’t be hard to fill. The demand for these roles will slowly increase due to the changing workplace. For example, hardly anyone uses typists these days. There are also fewer jobs for personal assistants, which have been replaced by more general roles such as “general clerk” who perform a range of administrative tasks. This is one of the roles where supply struggles to keep up.

While international travel remains in the doldrums, pilots are also on this list.

What to do next?

Labor shortages in some occupations make it difficult for businesses and governments to provide the goods and services that society wants. To deal with shortages without changing the overall size of the demographic forecast (which already includes a large contribution from migration), increases in some types of jobs will lead to reductions in others.

It makes the job more complicated than just saying we need more workers in the jobs that are missing.

Here are three suggestions:

  • encourage and enable people to qualify quickly and cheaply for occupations where supply is not sustained – in particular, care aides, teaching aides and construction-related occupations. This may require more places to be offered in existing courses from TAFE or other vocational education providers, and may require the design of new, shorter qualifications. Fees for these qualifications should be reduced or removed altogether
  • provide more national bachelor’s degree places for students to study nursing and midwifery. These students may be diverted from other degree courses. These courses necessarily take time to complete, so the inclusion of nurses in our immigration will also have to play a role
  • allow wages to climb in low-skilled, less fulfilling jobs such as cashiers and sales clerks, until automation becomes attractive. After that, people who would have worked in those jobs can instead fill care shortages, which are harder to automate, or undertake a little training to qualify as caregivers and personal assistants or educational aides.

Read more: Yes, we know there is a ‘skills shortage’. Here are 3 job summit ideas to start tackling it right away


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Michael A. Bynum