Long Haired Freaky People can now apply
So now that I’ve inserted that ear-worm for the afternoon (readers ‘of a certain age’ will get it…) we need to talk seriously about the skill shortage in Tasmania and a persistent inability to attract or retain skilled employees to Tasmania.

In yesterday’s Examiner, Chamber friend Professor David Adams, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Community, Partnerships & Regional Development at UTAS provided an op-ed based on the Commonwealth Treasury Inter-Generational Reports. It paints a bleak picture of the future of Tasmania, where if nothing changes, by 2060 there’ll likely be insufficient tax-paying citizens to fund the needs of a growing aged population. You can read the full story here: https://bit.ly/36jOxUw or here.

The Professor discusses possible solutions; each of them fundamentally boils down to increasing the number of income-generating & tax-paying citizens. This seems at odds with a recurrent narrative I hear from members concerning an inability to attract staff. Most predominantly in Hospitality, but also across all sectors. One member, a quality engineering shop is struggling to attract a fitter & turner; another has several roles available in surveying & architecture; we continually hear about members unable to access trades, and shortages across the health & allied sector are constant.’

Yet, according to labour force data from the ABS, as recently as May 2021 Tasmania had the lowest employment to population ratio at 57.5 per cent and the highest unemployment and underemployment rates in the country. Participation rates represent the percentage of Tasmanians that are able to work and are employed. In Tasmania the rate is just 61.3 per cent.’

Noticing the issue, the Federal government has introduced jobs fairs funded through the Department of Education Skills & Employment (DESE). At a recent fair in Devonport more than 900 jobs were available. They included apprenticeships and traineeships, with roles in agriculture, government and defence, as well as construction and trades; health care and social assistance; and hospitality and tourism.’

DESE is planning another fair for Launceston in just 2 weeks. Full details here. Registration as an exhibitor is free of charge, but its a time commitment, so here’s an offer from the Chamber…

If you’ve got jobs advertised for which you cannot seem to attract an applicant, let us know here. We’ve just added a simple jobs-board to the Chamber website that is (and will forever remain) free for Chamber Members to use. For now, and until the end of July, adding a position will be available on the main menu, but will soon move behind a Members-only login. Recognising that attendance at a day-long Jobs Fair might be onerous, or frankly impossible if you’re a sole-trader / micro-business; the Chamber will exhibit at the Jobs Fair on our member’s behalf, to promote their available positions. Cost to members? ZIP, Nada, nothing….

Importantly, we’ll never seek to compete with our recruitment industry members; that’s not our expertise… we’ll just link the job seekers (expected to be 800+ on the day) with the job advertisers for further discussion then step away to let connections happen. So, recruiters.. add your roles too! We’re wanting to make a tangible difference to the employee shortage problem, and this seems like a straightforward and achievable way to contribute.

We know this is a bigger and more wicked problem to solve; Professor Adams’ article makes that abundantly clear, but this seems like a doable short-term initiative to assist members. Put us to the test…

Oh, and if you’re still confused by this post’s headline, this video  might help.

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