Tradespeople along with health, hospitality and community services workers are hot property across Lithgow, those professions among the most sought-after amid a significant skills shortage reported across the entire Central West.
Although unemployment rates in Lithgow and the Central West have been steadily declining following the COVID-19 pandemic, Business NSW has still confirmed wide-scale reports of a high level of skills and labour shortages.
In its Condition Report for March, almost 50 per cent of businesses surveyed in the Central West reported a skills shortage, a significant increase from the 33.3 per cent that did the same just a few months earlier in December.
While [recent] decreases in unemployment are positive ... high levels of skilled and labour shortages is hampering business operations and growth.Vicki Seccombe, NSW Business Chamber Western regional manager
"While [recent] decreases in unemployment are positive ... high levels of skilled and labour shortages is hampering business operations and growth," Vicki Seccombe, NSW Business Chamber Western regional manager, said.
"The industries most affected include trades, hospitality and tourism, healthcare, manufacturing and transport, and community services. Some data is showing some of the highest levels of job advertisements for some time."
That data comes from the National Skills Commission's Vacancy Report, which revealed there was more jobs advertised on major online forums in the region last month than at any point in the last decade, back to May 2010 in fact.
It revealed 1,729 job vacancies posted in March across the region. As of Thursday, through just SEEK's website there was 372 job advertisements active in the city.
Both Business NSW and the National Skills Commission have reported similar shortages in the Orana region too. Across Dubbo and areas farther west, there was 1,514 jobs advertised, which is also the most since May of 2010.
Across the region carer and aide roles were in the highest demand in March while there was large numbers of advertisements for automotive and engineering trade positions, as well food trade and hospitality workers, legal, social and welfare professionals, health workers and general labourers.
Ms Seccombe said decentralisation from metropolitan areas will continue to play a role in addressing skills shortages, particularly as more people relocate from cities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We need to continue working towards ensuring western NSW is seen as a region that is attractive for relocation and we are attract those skills that are in short supply," she said.
"Unfortunately housing availability and, to some extent, affordability is increasingly becoming an issue for those trying to relocate."
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