When not enough people have the skills to do a particular job, that skill is called a "skill in demand".
For example, if an engineering firm has four jobs available, but only two qualified engineers apply, the other two jobs have to stay vacant, no matter how many other people apply.
Why are some skills in demand?
There are lots of reasons for skills in demand, including:
- A lack of skilled people in a particular place
- Perceptions of certain work as unappealing
- A lack of investment in training
- Changes in technology or the economy
The skills that are in demand can differ from place to place. One area might need skilled hairdressers, while another might have a shortage of doctors.
How skills in demand can benefit job seekers
Having skills that are in demand can be useful for job seekers because:
- There will be more vacancies for people with that skill
- Wages and conditions may be better
- There may be better training opportunities for jobs with skills shortages
How do I find out what skills are in demand?
Here are some places with info about current skills in demand:
- The Federal Government's state-by-state list of skill shortages
- The Federal Government's list of occupational skill shortages
This kind of information can be useful for job seekers in the following ways:
- If you want to get a job in your local area, finding out what skills are in demand in your area can help you work out what jobs are more likely to be available and what kind of study or training you could do to get those jobs.
- If you want to get a specific kind of job, finding out where demand is high for the skills that job needs can help you work out where you need to be living to improve your chances of getting that kind of job.
Things to think about
Here are few things to think about when it comes to skills in demand.
- Just because a skill is in demand, it doesn't mean you can automatically get a job in that area. You still need the specialised skills required.
- If you don't have skills that are in demand, you might still be able to get an entry-level job in a skill-in-demand field so you can develop your skills on the job.
- If you're thinking about training for a skill in demand, remember that some places might not have the same shortages when you finish training.
- Think twice before choosing a skill in demand just because it's in demand. Sometimes it's better to pick a job that actually interests you.
Victorian skill shortage list
The Federal Department of Education provides some information about what skills are needed in Victoria.
The Federal Department of Employment has a range of information about skill shortages across Australia, including lists of occupations experiencing shortages, and specific information for each state and territory.