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New report highlights shortages in Tasmanian workforce.



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Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 24 November, 2005

Media Release

371/05

New Report Highlights Shortages In Tasmanian Workforce

A new report released today by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews, shows

that Tasmania faces a potential shortfall of 3,800 workers in five years’ time as a result of population ageing.

The national shortfall is predicted to be of the order of 195,000 workers in five years.

In relative terms, Tasmania is likely to be more adversely affected by population ageing than the national average.

This is partly because Tasmania currently has a relatively old population structure, particularly in the north and

west of the State.

The report, Workforce Tomorrow: Adapting to a more diverse Australian labour market, informs employers,

large and small, of the challenges they are likely to face in the near future, and to help them develop strategies to

deal with their workforce needs over the next five years and beyond.

The findings of the report show that while employment is expected to continue to grow at a solid pace over the

next five years, it is likely to be substantially less than it could be if the age structure of the adult population

remained unchanged.

"Difficulties already faced by employers will be compounded by the effects of population ageing as they come at a

time when the nation is already facing excess demand in many skilled occupations," Mr Andrews said.

"This could result in adverse consequences for many businesses unless they adapt their recruitment, training and

retention strategies.

"The effects of population ageing will be felt across the nation, manifesting itself in different ways. Workforce

Tomorrow provides Australia’s employers with vital information to deal with this problem, contributing to the

future success of their business."

The Report highlights the need for urgent reform of the welfare system and the Workplace Relations Act.

Unless reform is undertaken now Australia will not be able to fill its labour market needs with a consequent loss of

productivity, jobs and wages growth.

The projections in the report were conducted by the Centre of Policy Studies at Monash University using the

MONASH model of the Australian economy. The report projects the impact of population ageing on labour

supply, and on employment by industry, region, and occupation for the period 2005 to 2010.

The Australian Government is working with employer groups on initiatives aimed at improving workplace

flexibility and increasing supply from more diverse labour pools.

You can find Workforce Tomorrow: Adapting to a more diverse Australian labour market at

www.workplace.gov.au/wt

For further information contact:

Ian Hanke 0409 715 861