Persistent shortages for ECEC workers
The Sector > Jobs News > Labour Market Update shows persistent shortages of ECEC employees in regional areas

Labour Market Update shows persistent shortages of ECEC employees in regional areas

by Freya Lucas

May 31, 2023

Skills shortages are “particularly persistent” in regional areas of Australia, a newly released Jobs and Skills Australia update has noted, acknowledging that things are especially challenging in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector. 


ECEC was named as an occupational group experiencing skills shortages, along with general practitioners and resident medical officers, registered nurses, medical imaging professionals, cooks, chefs, motor mechanics, automotive electricians, and mining engineers.


The findings were shared as part of the latest quarterly Labour Market Update, with the Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor acknowledging that strong and accessible higher education and vocational education and training sectors are crucial to tackling this skills shortage.


“It is vital we continue to build on our reforms in higher education, and vocational education and training to increase the accessibility of training and encourage more Australians to skill in areas of demand,” he said.

“Fee-Free TAFE and VET across the country has seen a strong take up in regional areas, which will help develop the pipeline of workers needed. Other reforms include the expanded Australian Apprenticeships Priority List, and strengthened financial and non-financial supports which will help with cost of living pressures and develop skills in critical areas of shortage.”

Over the past year, around 92 per cent of total employment growth has been in occupations where some level of post-secondary school qualification is usually required, while around two-thirds of total employment has been in occupations where VET qualifications are the primary pathway.

While skills shortages continue to remain, the report also showed that there was a strong increase in full-time employment and improvements for the long-term unemployed.

The quarter showed positive signs for those who have been out of the workforce for a year or more with the number of long-term unemployed people falling by more than 11,000, hitting their lowest level since 2009.

Access the findings in full here

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