WA Needs 55,000 Workers To Fill Worker Shortage

As calls to open borders continue

Article heading image for WA Needs 55,000 Workers To Fill Worker Shortage

WA are currently struggling through a worker shortage with the state in need of at least 55,000 more workers.

The shortage follows tight restrictions on both interstate and international travellers as a result of the Covid pandemic. 

According to the State’s peak business body, the chronic skills shortage is estimated to cost local business owners around $1.5 billion over the coming year. 

According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, the fallout from the state border closures and the impact this will have on local businesses is more alarming than a Covid outbreak. 

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If the WA borders do not open to interstate travellers soon, local businesses could lose up to $146,000 as a result of skill shortages over the next 12 months.

This could also result in a wage boost by close to half of these businesses in order to keep the staff they currently have.

As a direct result of the Covid outbreak, food and beverage as well as accommodation sectors have been the most drastically affected.

In order for businesses to get back on track, the CCIWA believe overseas workers are needed, with a survey showing that one of four vacancies will need to be filled by someone from outside Australia.

From September only one third of role vacancies are predicted to be filled by locals with businesses also being forced to turn down work as a result of understaffing. 

Surveys also revealed that three quarters of businesses wanted the border restrictions removed when the state hit their 80 percent vaccination target, while seven out of 10 felt as though the borders should open to international visitors and three-quarters wanted lockdowns removed.

As businesses suffer at the hands of the border closures, WA premier Mark McGowan recently suggested border closures with Victoria and NSW are likely to remain in place until April of 2022.

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Georgie Marr

19 October 2021

Article by:

Georgie Marr

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