No let-up in local government skills shortage: report

National shortages of civil and transport engineers, urban and regional planners, landscape gardeners, and construction project managers are forecast to last well into the future.

The 2021 Skills Priority List compiled by the National Skills Commission and released last week also reveals a national shortage of surveyors, arborists, childcare workers, aged or disabled carers, and horticultural mobile plant operators, with future demand for these occupations listed as strong.

Librarians, finance managers, arts administrators, gallery or museum guides are not listed as occupations in national shortage. However, future demand for these roles is forecast to be strong.

The shortage of environment health officers noted in ALGA’s Local Government Workforce and Futures Skills report looks to have eased, with the Skills Priority List showing a shortage only in the Northern Territory.

However, the list suggests future demand for environmental managers will be strong.

The demand for building inspectors has also waned according to the report, with no shortages in any state or territory and future demand likely to be moderate.

ALGA’s Local Government Workforce and Futures Skills report published in 2018 reported almost 70 percent of local governments were experiencing a skills shortage and skills gap with engineers, planners, building surveyors, environmental health officers and project managers topping the list of occupations in demand.

It recommended, among other things, that local government associations engage with skills service organisations and registered training organisations to ensure the sector is served by well-designed and delivered VET qualifications.