A new survey from Ai Group found that 28% of chief executives cited staff training and development as their highest priority for business investment in 2022. A further 30% listed it as their second-highest priority.
The national employer association, the Australian Industry Group’s Australian CEO Expectations for 2022 survey found that one-third of business leaders expect that skills shortages will constrain their company’s growth during the next 12 months.
Skills shortages ranked as the third most commonly cited impediment to business growth in 2022 with almost three quarters (73%) of business leaders anticipating difficulty in finding and retaining skilled staff throughout 2022. Business leaders expect skill shortages to intensify over the coming year across every sector and skill level, from labourer to professional.
Upskilling existing employees and recruiting apprentices and trainees were the most common strategies CEOS planned to adopt to deal with the skills crisis. Apprentices and trainees were seen by 17% of CEOs as a means of dealing with skill shortages, with 6% stating they would employ recent graduates and 5% planning to upskill new staff who hold only basic skills.
10% of business leaders planned to recruit skilled workers from overseas, 8% were proposing to increase subcontracted or casual labour, while 3% intended to send work offshore.