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Added on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 in section Chamber News.


Please find enclosed a Media Release and the full Skills Survey with regional breakdown from the NSW Business Chamber


Governments and businesses need to urgently train more people, and retrain existing workers, with a recent survey undertaken by the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, finding employers are experiencing skills shortages equating to more than 54,000 jobs state-wide.

The NSW Business Chamber’s inaugural Workforce Skills Survey measures business attitudes on employment, education and training issues, and provides a comprehensive baseline to track future sentiment.

“Connecting businesses with the skilled employees they need to grow is vital for the future of our economy,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Cartwright.

“Our inaugural Workforce Skills Survey was designed to gather detailed intelligence about employers’ pain points, where our training system is meeting their needs, and where it is failing,” Mr Cartwright said.

“The hundreds of cranes dotting the skyline in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong mean it’s no secret there’s a construction boom underway in New South Wales.

“This record infrastructure pipeline presents an unmissable opportunity to upskill the next generation, making it alarming that more than two thirds of construction businesses responding to our Survey reported a shortfall in skills.

“Manufacturing, accommodation and food services sectors are also experiencing significant skills shortages, a major concern given the central role these industries play in our economy.

“At a time when high youth unemployment has reached crisis levels in some areas of NSW, it is also troubling to see indications of a mismatch between what employers expect from their staff and what our education system is currently producing.

“Regions reporting the highest levels of skills shortages such as the Illawarra and Western NSW also have high levels of youth unemployment.

“On the positive side, employers demonstrate a good level of confidence in ‘learn and earn’ pathways, with nearly three quarters of respondents who have hired an apprentice or trainee saying they would do so again.

“Taking on a training worker is, however, a worthwhile but often costly and time consuming exercise for a business, and the Survey highlights the need to provide employers with more support in on boarding and retaining training workers.

“The administrative burden is a real deterrent, with employers finding it difficult to navigate the system and find the right information despite the wealth of material available.

“This makes it all the more urgent for the NSW Government to ‘go public’ with the outcomes of its review of apprenticeships and traineeships and invest in a campaign to educate and excite employers, parents, careers advisors and young people about VET pathways.

“Businesses also affirmed other key findings of NSW Business Chamber’s recent Laying the Foundations for Apprenticeship Reform research, prioritising work readiness training, boosting incentives for the early stages, and targeting employer support as strategies that will help build employer confidence and encourage them to create opportunities for young people looking for a start.

“The NSW Government should take heed of these proposals and use the upcoming State Budget to announce real investment in employability programs, kick start incentives for employers and to pilot innovative new apprenticeship models.

“The Workforce Skills Survey serves as a very useful temperature check on employers’ skills needs, as well as insights into what Government needs to do in response.

“Governments should see these results as a call to action,” Mr Cartwright said.


Media Contact: Damian Kelly 0401 773 825



Gary Ryan

Regional Manager | Capital Far South Coast | NSW Business Chamber

Level 3 24 Brisbane Avenue Barton ACT 2600

Tel: 0417 168 450 | Web:


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