What Skills Used in Undertaking Core Business Activities Are in Short Supply?

The latest Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) conducted by the ABS shed interesting light on what skills are critical to businesses, and short in supply.

Survey participants were asked to list the type of skills used in undertaking core business activities (businesses can identify more than one type of skills). Trades (27%) and financial (26%) skills were most widely used, while scientific and research (4.6%) skills was used the least by businesses.

On the issue of shortage, trade skills were the most commonly reported shortage, with a total of 9% of businesses reporting a deficiency. It’s interesting that financial skills were widely used for core business activities, but only 3.6% reported a shortage (refer chart 1).

Companies employing between 5-19 staff struggle most in finding marketing and trade professionals. While large companies, with staff above 200 have difficulty finding engineering and financial professionals (chart 2)

The survey is one of the most comprehensive study (sample size is 9500) on skills used for core business activities. Is the data an accurate representation of your organisation and current recruitment activity? More details here.

Chart 1: Skills shortage vs. skills currently used (number of businesses)image

Chart 2: Skills shortage by size of company (number of employees)image

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