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Skills shortage to last ‘well into the 2030s’ 

Australia’s skills shortage is expected to last “well into” the 2030s, recruiter Hays says, and current demand for communication and adaptability skills will give way to employers foremost seeking critical thinking and agile leadership. 

Employers are investing in upskilling to expand talent networks and build future capability, and more than a third would now consider employing or sponsoring an overseas candidate, the latest Hays Salary Guide survey says, up significantly from last year’s 7%. 

Hays says Australia is undergoing an “extended skills recession,” and the key to unlocking an organisation’s potential will be management “considering the ‘emotional salary’ they offer, consisting of the right mix of benefits, work-life balance, upskilling and personal fulfillment”. 

The survey of over 14,000 found 90% of insurance employers said they were experiencing a shortage of skilled staff and insurance took seventh place in the list of Australia’s professions most impacted by skills shortages. 

The top five insurance roles employers need to fill in Australia are property and casualty underwriters, commercial brokers, liability claims consultants, SME underwriters and workers compensation 

In New Zealand, claims consultants, loss adjusters, broker support, compliance specialist and brokers were listed. 

Hays Asia Pacific CEO Matthew Dickason says a shrinking skills pipeline threatens the effective operations and growth plans and employers must guard against the long-term impact. 

“As employers compete in a tight talent pool, we’re seeing a significant surge in salaries, with both the number of increases and their value continuing the upward trajectory,” he said. 

Pay rises are on the horizon, with almost all employers intending to offer some increase at the next review. However, Hays found around a third said the change would be just 0-3%. Meanwhile, two thirds of insurance staff said a pay rise of greater than 7% was required to reflect their performance and demand for their skills.  

Salary is the most significant factor in talent attraction and retention but "not the whole picture,” Mr Dickason says.  

See the survey results here.