Industry Trends

Skills shortages

Skills shortages in a particular industry can mean job opportunities. The Department of Employment carries out research to identify skill shortages in the Australian labour market. The research results provide information about skill shortages at the state, territory and/or national level.


Read about skills shortages:




The National Skills Needs List identifies traditional trades that are identified as experiencing a national skills shortage. The list is based on detailed labour market research and analysis.


The current list includes:

  • telecommunications technicians

  • bricklayers

  • optical mechanics

  • electricians

  • bakers

  • aircraft maintenance engineers.


Incentives are offered for employers to take on more apprentices.


Read more about apprenticeship training and financial help that may be available if you are thinking about starting an apprenticeship.


Employment growth


Employment is projected to increase in 16 of the 19 broad industries over the five years to May 2022. Health Care and Social Assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth (increasing by 250,500), followed by Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (126,400), Construction (120,700) and Education and Training (116,200). Together, these four industries are projected to provide more than half of total employment growth over the five years to May 2022.


Industries expected to record employment growth to 2016–2017 include:

  • health care and social assistance

  • professional, scientific and technical services

  • construction

  • mining


These industries are forecast to provide more than 60% of employment growth in the next 5 years. Growth is also likely in those jobs that require higher skill levels (e.g. Bachelor degrees, advanced diplomas).

Relevant work experience in some jobs could be a substitute for formal qualifications. On-the-job training may also be needed as well as formal qualifications.


The Australian Government’s Employment Outlook has detailed information on the skill levels that are expected in the labour market over the next 5 years.