Western Australia has called for better preparation for graduates joining the workforce.
According to a research report, there is a “skills mismatch” among recent Australian graduates joining the workforce.
The report, titled ‘Race to the Top,’ was published by the Committee for Perth, which counts key Western Australian businesses among its members.
According to the report, qualifications could better prepare recent graduates in technical and professional skills, enterprise skills and employability.
The report said although employers in Western Australia are satisfied with the broad attributes of recent graduates, industries need to collaborate with educational institutions and students to prepare graduates better before joining the local workforce.
The report estimates that the workforce will experience declines across several sectors, such as a shortfall of 35,000 workers per year in the aged care industry, if a solution to the chronic skills shortages is not found.
Sectors such as technology, digital, engineering, supply chain and construction will also experience worker shortfalls if skills shortages are not addressed.
As such, the report by the Committee for Perth suggested better use of ‘latent labour supply’ to ease chronic skills shortages in Western Australia.
According to the report, this can be achieved in three ways:
- By finding employment opportunities for underemployed people who are willing to work;
- By employing jobseekers with previous experience in occupations and industries suffering from skills shortages; and
- By utilising the skills of recently arrived migrants.
The report also urged establishing a workforce strategy body called the Future Employment WA to make the best use of expertise and advice from industries, government agencies, education providers and unions.
Among other recommendations, the Committee for Perth report suggested overcoming gender differences in certain occupations and industries, with men dominating fields such scientific and technical services and women excelling in health care, social assistance, education and training.
Being overly reliant on a single gender to fill positions can also reduce Western Australia’s ability to meet skill needs in the future, said WA Deputy Premier Roger Cook.