Hairdresser company Epic Hair Designs director Brendon Mann is finding it hard to find employees through job ads. Picture: Liam Kidston
Hairdresser company Epic Hair Designs director Brendon Mann is finding it hard to find employees through job ads. Picture: Liam Kidston

Job ads go unfilled as 176k look for work

EMPLOYERS can't find workers despite Queensland's unemployment rate now being the highest in the country, with more than 85 per cent of job ads going unfilled in some trades.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures yesterday showed the jobless rate rose to 6.5 per cent in September despite an extra 25,400 positions as the numbers of people looking for work outstripped job creation.

But despite the job queue stretching back 176,900 people - the longest in five years - employers are filling as few as 39 per cent of jobs in the important construction sector in regional areas.

Employers are having trouble recruiting construction workers in the regions. Picture: Liam Kidston
Employers are having trouble recruiting construction workers in the regions. Picture: Liam Kidston

The newly released Department of Jobs and Small Business report found employers had more difficulty recruiting for construction trades in 2018 than the previous year, despite attracting more candidates.

"More than half of the qualified applicants who applied were considered unsuitable, typically because they lacked specific experience in the occupation," the report said.

And many who were suitable turned down job offers because the wages were too low.

Regional employers filled 39 per cent of their vacancies while metropolitan employers filled 62 per cent.

But success varied depending on the trade - carpenter and joiner roles were readily filled but just 13 per cent of wall and floor tiling jobs, a quarter of glazier positions and 38 per cent of cabinet-maker openings attracted a suitable candidate.

In the health sector, sonographers, optometrists and physiotherapists were in short supply across the state, but there were enough nurses and midwives for the first time in at least seven years.

Employers did better recruiting carpenters over other trades like glaziers and tilers.
Employers did better recruiting carpenters over other trades like glaziers and tilers.

Excluding nursing, only about a half of all regional health job ads could be filled, compared to nearly three quarters in regional areas.

Almost half of all applicants were unsuitable due to issues like incomplete qualifications, incomplete practice hours or lack of qualification to register in Queensland.

Others were unwilling to work the part-time work hours offered or were too inexperienced to work in aged care or mental health.

Skills shortages were also identified for surveyors, civil engineering professionals and airconditioning and refrigeration mechanics.

While there were plenty of teachers, the department found there could be a need for many more as the school cohort grew next year.

Brendon Mann from Epic Hair Designs is finding it hard to find employees through job ads. Picture: Liam Kidston
Brendon Mann from Epic Hair Designs is finding it hard to find employees through job ads. Picture: Liam Kidston

Director of hairdressing company Epic Hair Designs, Brendon Mann, said there was a "big skills shortage" in the industry.

Mr Mann, who has 15 salons with 120 staff, said he had struggled to hire stylists.

Recently, the company received just two applications for a stylist job at his Eatons Hill salon with both candidates not suitable for the role.

 

EMPLOYMENT STATS

 

Queensland jobless rate in September: 6.5%

People looking for work: 176,900

Regional vacancies filled in 2108: 39%

City vacancies filled in 2018: 62%

Workers needed include: Civil engineer, surveyor, electrical engineer, special education teacher, diagnostic radiographer, sonographer, pharmacist, physiotherapist, metal machinist, joiner, plumber, refrigeration mechanic, baker, cabinet-maker.

Source: Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business



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