Submission to the Department of Industry for the Skilled Occupation List

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1 Submission to the Department of Industry for the Skilled Occupation List November 2014

2 Contents 1. The Department of Employment s roles and responsibilities The Department of Employment s submission Overview of the Australian labour market... 3 Professionals and Technicians and Trades Workers Ensuring good employment outcomes for migrants and Australian residents The Department of Employment s recommendations... 7 Attachment A Analysis and evidence for the occupation recommended for inclusion Panelbeater... 9 Attachment B Analysis and evidence for occupations recommended for removal Accountants Urban and Regional Planner Veterinarian Secondary School Teacher Occupational and Environmental Health Professions Barrister Solicitor Health related professions Medical Laboratory Scientist Dentist Resource related professions Production Manager (Mining) Mining Engineers Metallurgist Attachment C Background information for flagged labour markets and those recommended for flagging Surveyor Speech Pathologist and 324 Automotive Trades Construction Trades Engineering Professions and 323 Engineering Trades ICT Professions Department of Employment Page 1

3 1. The Department of Employment s roles and responsibilities The Department of Employment is a key provider to the Australian Government of information and analysis about the Australian labour market, including the supply of, and demand for, labour. Consistent with this, it also plays a central role in advising the Government on employment and workplace relations issues. The Department is responsible for national policies and programmes that help Australians find and keep employment and work in safe, fair and productive workplaces. 2. The Department of Employment s submission The Department of Employment s submission is based on the following understanding of the role of the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) in Australia s migration programme. The Skilled Occupation List identifies occupations where independent skilled migrants will assist in meeting the medium to long term skill needs of the Australian economy. Independent migrants with skills in these occupations will assist in meeting skill needs that cannot be met through employer and state sponsored migration programmes, or efforts aimed at training and employing Australians 1. In making recommendations, the submission looks beyond the current subdued labour market and focuses on occupations which are key to supporting a recovery in economic activity in the future and in which supply is likely to fall short of employer needs over the longer term and occupations in which applicants are likely to face strong competition for jobs. In this context, the Department notes the need for significant consideration to be given to the appropriateness of occupations on the SOL to ensure that employment opportunities for local graduates and workers are not compromised independent Skill Stream applicants who are invited to apply are likely to find meaningful work which is relevant to their pre migration skills and experience, no matter where they choose to settle in Australia. This submission is based on an extensive array of labour market information. While the Department has information about the labour market across all occupations, it undertakes specific research into a range of skilled occupations, and this provides a sound evidence base for determining current and future trends in labour demand and supply. Sources include its own primary research, undertaken through discussions with employers about their recruitment experiences for more than 100 occupations and through the monitoring of advertised vacancy levels compilation and analysis of an array of data from external sources, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, industry reports and surveys, and consultation with key stakeholders analysis of trends in domestic training based on Department of Education and National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) statistics complemented by graduate employment outcomes information from Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) and NCVER the Department s published projections of employment over the five years from 2013 to In the past year, the Department has undertaken primary research into more than 100 skilled occupations which are currently on the SOL. Where this intelligence supports a view about the appropriateness of the inclusion of an occupation on the SOL, the Department has made recommendations. There are, however, some occupations on the SOL for which there is little information from available statistics, submissions or detailed studies about the current or future labour market conditions and job opportunities for local and migrant job seekers. The Department is of the view that close consideration should be given to whether these occupations should remain on the SOL. Information included in the submission is current at November Department of Industry, https://consult.industry.gov.au/skilled occupations list team/ sol submission page (accessed 30 October 2014) Department of Employment Page 2

4 3. Overview of the Australian labour market Against the backdrop of sub par global growth and slightly below trend economic activity domestically, labour market conditions in Australia have softened in recent years. In particular, over the year to September employment has increased only modestly, by 121,900 (or 1.1 per cent), well below the annual average rate of 1.9 per cent recorded over the last decade full time employment has been particularly weak, increasing by just 18,700 (or 0.2 per cent) to 8,028,900, while part time employment has risen by 103,200 (or 3.0 per cent) to 3,563,600 the unemployment rate has risen by 0.3 percentage points, to stand at 6.1 per cent, the highest rate recorded since July 2003 the participation rate has fallen by 0.2 percentage points, to stand at 64.5 per cent, well below its peak of 65.8 per cent recorded in November Softer labour market conditions have been observed across Capital Cities and Rest of State areas over the year to September Employment rose by 100,500 (or 1.3 per cent) in Capital Cities, while in the Rest of State areas it increased by a modest 33,800 (or 0.9 per cent). In Capital City areas, the level of unemployment rose by 44,200 (or 9.9 per cent) and by 24,500 (or 10.8 per cent) in Rest of State areas. Against this backdrop, the unemployment rate in the Capital Cities rose by 0.4 percentage points, to 5.8 per cent. In the Rest of State areas, the unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 6.4 per cent. Professionals and Technicians and Trades Workers Employment growth for professionals has been very strong over the past five years and professionals are projected to have the greatest share of employment growth of any occupational group over the five years to November The Department s research 5, though, indicates that the growth in supply for many professions is now outstripping demand, creating a surplus of graduates. Employment growth for professionals continues to be slightly stronger than that for technicians and trades workers, rising by 2.6 per cent (or 66,700) over the year to August 2014 compared with an increase of 2.2 per cent (or 37,100) for technicians and trades workers 6. Vacancy levels increased more strongly for technicians and trades workers, though, over the year to August 2014 (up by 17.8 per cent) than for professionals (12.1 per cent) 7. The labour market for professionals has softened considerably, particularly over recent years. Although the labour market for technicians and trades workers is also currently subdued, impacted by declining Manufacturing and Mining activity levels, this easing has not been to the same extent as that for professionals (see Figure 1) 8. 2 ABS, Labour Force, Australia, September 2014, seasonally adjusted data 3 ABS, Labour Force, Australia, Detailed Electronic Delivery, September 2014, three month averages of original data 4 ABS, Labour Force, August 2014, Department of Employment trend and Department of Employment, Employment Projections to November ABS, Labour Force, August 2014, Department of Employment trend 7 Department of Employment, Internet Vacancy Index, August 2014, trend 8 Department of Employment Page 3

5 Figure 1. Proportion of vacancies filled (%) and average number of applicants and suitable applicants per vacancy (no.), Professions and Technicians and Trades, to Source: Department of Employment, Survey of Employers who have Recently Advertised Graduate outcomes Employment outcomes for domestic higher education graduates have weakened considerably over the last five years. In 2013, 71.3 per cent of bachelor degree graduates found full time employment after graduating, down by 13.9 percentage points since 2008, to its lowest level since Not only have full time employment outcomes fallen for bachelor degree graduates, there is also evidence to suggest that larger numbers of those who do find a job are working in occupations which require lower skill levels (than their degree would normally confer), or are working fewer hours than they would like, suggesting that underemployment of graduates is also rising 10. The Department of Education projects that employment outcomes for higher education graduates are likely to deteriorate further, with around 70 per cent expected to be in full time employment in Put another way, by , almost one in three graduates will still be seeking full time employment four months after completing their degree 11. Employment outcomes for apprentices and trainees 12 following completion of their training are strong. In 2013, 92.3 per cent of graduates who undertook their training as part of an apprenticeship or traineeship in a trade occupation course remained in employment after training. 9 GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables. Outcomes refer to those employed full time four months after completing their bachelor degree as a proportion of those available for full time work 10 GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables; ABS, Survey of Education and Work, Department of Education, Budget Statements NCVER, Student Outcomes, Includes graduates in full time and part time employment six months after completion of training. Apprentices and trainees are already in employment during training Department of Employment Page 4

6 Figure 2: Proportion of graduates in employment, Bachelor Degree and Apprentices and Trainees, 2008 to 2013 (%) Sources: GCA, Gradstats and NCVER, Student Outcomes, various issues Training trends Over the five years to 2013, the number of commencing higher education domestic students rose by 34.8 per cent. The impact of the extra supply of university qualified graduates is yet to be fully felt in the labour market, with completions (up by 22.5 per cent over the period) lagging behind the sharp rise in commencements 13. Apprenticeship and traineeship figures 14 for certificate III and higher qualifications (the main entry level for skilled jobs) show a fall in commencements over the five years to 2013 (down by 6.7 per cent) although completions have increased markedly over this time period (up by 33.8 per cent). The fall in commencements at the certificate III or higher level has been dramatic in recent years, with a fall of 26.0 per cent between 2012 and That said, technicians and trades workers apprenticeships and traineeships have been more resilient (over the year). Low apprentice numbers has been raised as a concern by a number of employers, as well as by Master Builders Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 15. Labour market outlook Looking ahead, a number of forward indicators of labour demand suggest that employment growth is likely to remain subdued in the short to medium term. The resources sector continues to transition to its less labour intensive production phase, and the still relatively high Australian dollar (despite depreciating) continues to produce challenging conditions in the large, labour intensive sectors of the economy, such as Manufacturing and Tourism. The Treasury Budget forecasts 16 are for employment to increase by 1½ per cent in both and , with the unemployment rate expected to be 6¼ per cent in the June quarter 2015 and to remain at that level in the June quarter Over the longer term, the ageing of the population poses a significant challenge for the Australian labour market, as it continues to place further downward pressure on the labour force participation rate. 13 Department of Education, Higher Education Student Data Collection, 2013, customised table 14 NCVER, Apprentices and Trainees, March 2014, estimates 15 Weekend Australian, Training drought sparks skills fear, 14 June 2014; 16 The Treasury, Budget Papers, Department of Employment Page 5

7 Although increased higher education numbers and softer demand for some professionals suggests that significant shortages are unlikely to re emerge in the short to medium term; in the trades, low training numbers combined with a pick up in economic and business activity, would likely result in some shortages of trade skills. The Department s historical skill shortage information indicates that the trades labour market is prone to widespread shortages during times of strong economic growth. Shortages of construction trades workers are already re emerging. Research undertaken in late 2014 shows that the majority of construction trades are now in national shortage Ensuring good employment outcomes for migrants and Australian residents The Department recognises the significant contribution that skilled migration has made, and continues to make, to the Australian labour market and, more broadly, the Australian economy. Skilled migration supplements locally developed skills and enables employers to have access to the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses. It is important that the SOL and associated skilled migration categories remain focused on expected labour market conditions and the job prospects of migrants and local workers in the medium to longer term and not on the performance of other sectors, such as international education. The Department notes calls by some peak accounting bodies to amend the current system to take account of international education The current system is additionally flawed, according to the submission, because it does not take into account international education when considering skilled migration 18. Suitability of occupations for the SOL Skill Stream applicants who are invited to apply under visa categories pertinent to the SOL are able to choose their place of residence within Australia and are not necessarily matched to specific employment. This highlights the importance of occupations on the SOL being those in which there are significant numbers of jobs in the Australian labour market and which offer a reasonable chance of employment in a broad range of locations. The Department notes that in relation to occupations (regardless of the SkillSelect process) their ongoing inclusion on the SOL sends a message to potential migrants that they will readily gain employment some are ill defined or there is insufficient evidence to warrant their inclusion employer sponsored programmes (where visa applicants are job matched as a condition of visa grant) are more appropriate for some occupations to ensure good labour market outcomes for migrants and provide Australian employers with workers who have the precise skills and experience they need. In light of the subdued labour market conditions expected over the next few years, the Department considers that the SOL should be restricted to relatively large occupations for which employment is widely spread, and that other migration arrangements be used for smaller occupational labour markets. Consideration should be given to excluding occupations (other than medical practitioner specialisations) which have small employment numbers (perhaps fewer than 1500 nationally), with migration in these occupations available only through employer sponsored arrangements. Results from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Continuous Survey of Australia s Migrants which provide evidence about migrants employment outcomes, are clearly vital to understanding the prospects for migrants who are granted visas under the various independent skilled migration categories. 17 ; HIA, Trades Report, September quarter The Australian, Skilled migrant policy needs flexibility, 12 November 2014 Department of Employment Page 6

8 Australian graduates Australia is producing larger numbers of higher education and vocational education and training graduates across a range of fields of education, including in Health (which is an area of particularly strong employment growth). This has assisted in addressing a number of persistent shortages, notably in the professions. That said, weakening higher education graduate employment outcomes also need to be considered in the determination of occupations for the SOL. Although the visa categories to which the SOL relates favour workers with some years of experience, ensuring there are maximum opportunities for Australian graduates to gain employment in their field of study must be a high priority in any policy and programme settings. Expectations of potential migrants The Department recommends that the criteria for occupations to be eligible for the SOL and the nature of the SOL be better communicated on relevant websites. All listings of SOL occupations published on Australian Government websites should be accompanied by information which provides potential migrants with a sound understanding that the occupations on the SOL can change over time and includes caveats about the basis of the SOL. The information should also highlight the fact that, while there are opportunities in these occupations in Australia they are not necessarily available in all locations, migrants could face strong competition for available jobs and in some occupations, such as engineering, employers may demand very specific knowledge and experience. 5. The Department of Employment s recommendations Many of the recommendations for changes to the SOL reflect the enhanced supply of professionals, and the weakening in labour market conditions for higher education graduates. The Department also, though, recommends the addition of one trade occupation for which shortages are long standing and in which domestic training is unable to meet demand. Attachment A provides analysis and evidence in support of recommendations for additions to the SOL. Attachment B provides analysis and evidence in support of recommendations for removal. Attachment C includes background for occupations which were flagged by the former Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency in 2014 for monitoring and those for which the Department considers flagging to be appropriate. These are: surveyor, speech pathologist, automotive trades, engineering professionals, engineering trades, construction trades and ICT professions. Summary of recommendations Add Panelbeater Remove Accountants Accountant (General) Management Accountant Taxation Accountant Other professions Urban and Regional Planner Veterinarian Secondary School Teacher Environmental Health Officer Occupational Health and Safety Adviser Barrister Solicitor Department of Employment Page 7

9 Health related professions Medical Laboratory Scientist Dentist Resource related professions Production Manager (Mining) Mining Engineer (except Petroleum) Petroleum Engineer Metallurgist Flag (or continue to flag) ICT professions ICT Business Analyst Systems Analyst Analyst Programmer Developer Programmer Software Engineer Computer Network and Systems Engineer Telecommunications Engineer Telecommunications Network Engineer Department of Employment Page 8

10 Attachment A Analysis and evidence for the occupation recommended for inclusion Panelbeater The Department recommends the addition of Panelbeater. The key issue in this labour market is the persistence of shortages. National shortages have been recorded continuously for the past 15 years. This labour market is particularly tight, with employers in every state and territory experiencing significant difficulty recruiting these trades workers. In late 2013 (latest available research), surveyed employers filled just 38 per cent of their panelbeater vacancies and attracted less than one suitable applicant, on average, per vacancy 19. While nearly all employers require applicants to be qualified, less than two thirds of applicants hold a relevant qualification. Training levels are low. NCVER data show the number of apprentice and trainee commencements in related automotive repair training (at the Certificate III or higher level) fell by 29.7 per cent over the five years to Outlook The Department of Employment 21 expects employment of panelbeaters to fall slightly (down by 400 or 1.9 per cent) over the five years to November That said, there is no indication that the shortages of panelbeaters will ease. Local additions to this workforce may be low over the next few years and domestic training is unlikely to meet demand. Job opportunities are expected to remain sound for local and migrant panelbeaters NCVER, Apprentices and Trainees, March 2014, estimates for panelbeaters, and vehicle body builders, trimmers and painters 21 Department of Employment, Employment projections to November 2018 Department of Employment Page 9

11 Attachment B Analysis and evidence for occupations recommended for removal 2211 Accountants The Department notes the reduction to the cap for accountants in 2014, but continues to be concerned about employment prospects in this profession and the employment expectations of international students. It recommends the removal of Accountant (General) Management Accountant Taxation Accountant. There are large numbers of qualified applicants competing for vacancies, historically low numbers of advertised vacancies and weakening graduate outcomes. These factors suggest it is improbable that shortages of accountants will re emerge over the next three to five years and that migrants are likely to continue to face difficulty gaining employment in this occupation. Shortages of accountants have not been apparent since 2008 and, in 2014, there continue to be large numbers of qualified accountants competing for jobs, with employers noting they can be very selective about the accountants they recruit 22. There has been a steady rise in the number of applicants and suitable applicants vying for accounting positions, with around 36.0 applicants per vacancy in 2014, of whom 5.8 were considered to be suitable. Of particular note is the fact that there are around 27 applicants per vacancy, on average, who hold accounting qualifications but are regarded by employers as being unsuitable. Demand indicators for this labour market are mixed. Employment growth 23 has been strong over the past decade and, although ABS data suggest there has been a significant increase over the past year, vacancy numbers 24 for accountants have fallen significantly since 2008 and have yet to recover. A number of other indicators also suggest the labour market for accountants is subdued. The Hays Quarterly Hotspots 25 comments that demand for permanent roles in accounting professions has increased, although it notes that in some industries demand is for niche roles. Hays also comments on the number of employers who are willing to wait for a candidate with the right cultural fit, even if the role then remains unfilled for some time. The Clarius Skills Indicator 26 shows a surplus of accountants, auditors and company secretaries in the March quarter 2014, which it suggests is due to weak demand for accountants. The oversupply of these professionals increased to 1600 in the March quarter A key issue for this labour market is the imbalance between domestic and international student numbers. In 2013, for every domestic commencing student, there were 2.5 international students 27. For domestic students, bachelor degree commencements have increased in recent years, from a low of 3000 in 2011 to 3450 in Bachelor completions 28 fell by 3.1 per cent over the five years to Nonetheless, there were around 5800 bachelor completions in ABS, Labour Force, August 2014, Department of Employment trend 24 Department of Employment, Internet Vacancy Index, August 2014, 12 month moving average 25 Hays, Hays Quarterly Report October December 2014, (accessed 29 October 2014) 26 Clarius Group, Clarius Skills Indicator, March 2014 (released May 2014) 27 Department of Education, Higher Education Student Data Collection, 2013, customised table 28 Completions are by course specialisation which provides a more accurate measure of potential supply as it includes students major in accounting even if their degree is in another field of education. Commencements are not available by specialisation. Department of Employment Page 10

12 International commencements across all levels of higher education fell by 8.3 per cent between 2008 and 2013, but increased by 15.8 per cent between 2012 and 2013, driven by growth at the postgraduate level. International completions 29 decreased by 7.1 per cent over the five years to 2013, although bachelor completions rose by 21.3 per cent over the period. There is evidence of a surplus of accountants at the entry level, with graduates experiencing deteriorating outcomes and relatively low pay rates. This may be due, in part, to firms downsizing their graduate intakes in recent years 30. Graduate outcomes 31 for bachelor degree graduates have declined markedly since 2008, with 77.4 per cent in full time employment in 2013 (compared with 88.6 per cent in 2008), to the lowest level in 20 years. Outcomes for masters degree graduates also fell over the period, from 75.2 per cent in 2008 to 61.7 per cent in o Of those who did find full time work in 2013, around half of bachelor degree graduates secured a job as an accountant, while around 14 per cent were employed in lower skilled clerical and administrative positions. A smaller proportion of masters degree graduates who gained employment found work as an accountant (43 per cent in 2013). In 2013, the median wage 32 for bachelor degree accountants was $50,000 (below the average for all bachelor degree graduates of $52,500) which equates to 71.1 per cent of the annual male average weekly earnings, down from 79.1 per cent in A recent report by Deakin University 33 highlights the difficulty international graduates have in securing professional work in Australia, including in accounting, with CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants NZ quoted as stating that difficulties overseas graduates have finding jobs are well understood 34. Outlook The accountant workforce is relatively young 35 and turnover is below average (5.2 per cent per annum compared with 11.4 for all occupations), suggesting that replacement demand will be low over the medium term 36. The Department projects strong employment growth (of 18,300 or 10.6 per cent) 37. Despite the anticipated growth in employment, vacancy numbers are not showing significant signs of recovery, and supply is expected to exceed demand. Graduate outcomes are likely to continue to weaken, with international students experiencing difficulty gaining employment as accountants. While the Department recommends removing these occupations from the SOL, it notes the importance of weighing up the employment outcomes of, particularly masters, graduates against any risk of the reemergence of shortages in the longer term if a fall in international student numbers reduces new supply. 29 Completions are by course specialisation which provides a more accurate measure of potential supply as it includes students major in accounting even if their degree is in another field of education. Commencements are not available by specialisation. 30 Australian Financial Review, Accountant graduates face job market squeeze, 22 May GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables. Outcomes refer to those employed full time four months after completing their bachelor degree as a proportion of those available for full time work 32 GCA, Graduate Salaries, This is the starting salary of a bachelor degree graduate in first full time employment and less than 25 years old 33 Deakin University, Australian International Graduates and the transition to employment, Australian Financial Review, Accounting bodies do about face on jobs for foreign students, 28 October ABS, Labour Force, 2013 annual average 36 ABS, Labour Mobility, Department of Employment, Employment Projections to November 2018 Department of Employment Page 11

13 Urban and Regional Planner The Department recommends the removal of Urban and Regional Planner. It is likely that domestic supply will be more than adequate to meet medium term demand, and that graduates in this field will continue to face strong competition for positions. Shortages of urban and regional planners are not expected to re emerge. There have not been shortages of urban and regional planners since Since then, employers have experienced little difficulty recruiting, attracting large fields of qualified and suitable applicants. Employers commonly require applicants who have a sound knowledge of state and territory Environment Protection Authority and local government acts and regulations 38. The labour market for urban and regional planners is soft. Employment 39 peaked in August 2012, and has fallen by 22.4 per cent since then. There were only about a quarter as many vacancies advertised in the year to August 2014 as there were in the year to October 2008 (peak) 40. In June 2014, surveyed employers filled 87 per cent of their vacancies and attracted large numbers of qualified applicants (14.5, on average, per vacancy). There were more than twice as many suitable applicants compared with the previous year (an average of 6.9 per vacancy compared with 3.1 in June 2013) 41. Outputs from domestic training 42 have been increasing, with completions in courses specialising in Urban Design and Regional Planning rising by 41.9 per cent over the five years to 2013, with particularly strong growth at the bachelor degree level. Employment outcomes 43 for those who graduated with a bachelor degree in Urban Design and Regional Planning weakened over the five years to In 2013, 67.9 per cent of those available for full time work had secured a full time job, 25.4 percentage points lower than in 2008 and below the 2013 average for all bachelor degree graduates (71.3 per cent). o Around two thirds of those who were in full time employment in 2013, found a position as an urban and regional planner. Outlook Looking ahead, employment growth is projected to be slightly above average over the five years to November (increasing by 8.2 per cent, compared with 7.2 per cent for all occupations). This occupation has a relatively young age profile 45, with the median age below the national workforce average. Staff turnover is also low 46, suggesting that there will be little replacement demand in the period ahead. Domestic supply is expected to be more than adequate to meet demand over the next three to five years ABS, Labour Force, August 2014, Department of Employment trend 40 Department of Employment, Internet Vacancy Index, August 2014, 12 month moving average Department of Education, Higher Education Student Data Collection, 2013, customised table 43 GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables. Outcomes refer to those employed full time four months after completing their bachelor degree as a proportion of those available for full time work 44 Department of Employment, Employment Projections to November ABS, Labour Force, 2013 annual average 46 ABS, Labour Mobility, 2013 Department of Employment Page 12

14 Veterinarian The Department recommends the removal of Veterinarian. Training numbers have risen markedly and there is now some surplus capacity in this labour market with large fields of graduates applying for vacancies. Over the next few years, graduate numbers are expected to rise further and graduate employment outcomes weaken. Domestic supply will be more than adequate to meet medium term demand. There has been strong growth in employment of veterinarians in recent years. ABS Labour Force estimates are variable but show a marked rise over the past five years 47. The number of registered veterinarians has increased significantly over the past five years (up by 16 per cent) to number 10,629 at 30 June The number of advertised vacancies for veterinarians has, though, been falling since late There were one third fewer vacancies advertised for veterinarians in the twelve months to August 2014 than there were in the year to December 2009 (peak) 49. Veterinarians have not been in shortage since 2010 and in , employers recruited without marked difficulty, attracting strong fields of qualified applicants (6.4, on average, per vacancy). Labour Force data 51 indicate this workforce is young, with almost two in three veterinarians aged between 25 and 44 years, compared with 45 per cent for all occupations. Domestic training has increased and there are now seven universities offering relevant courses 52. Commencements in bachelor degree courses leading to provisional registration as a veterinary practitioner rose by 52 per cent between 2008 and Completions have also increased, up by 41 per cent over the period 53. Employment outcomes for bachelor degree graduates in Veterinary Science, are above the all bachelor degree graduate average but have fallen markedly. In 2013, 78.8 per cent were in full time employment, down from 91.8 per cent in Outcomes for these graduates have been trending downwards since 2004, when 98.0 per cent of students who graduated in this field found full time employment within four months of graduation. Around 85 per cent of bachelor degree graduates who are employed work as veterinarians 55. An Australian Veterinary Association report has recommended a cap be placed on the number of veterinary science student places 56. In addition, a number of media articles note the surplus of graduates 57. Outlook Employment growth is projected to be strong over the five years to November 2018, increasing by 14.8 per cent compared with 7.2 per cent for all occupations 58. Further increases in completions are expected, given the continuing growth in commencements, and local supply is expected to be more than adequate. 47 ABS, Labour Force Survey, August 2014, Department of Employment trend 48 Australasian Veterinary Board Council, Number of registered vets throughout Australia and New Zealand, June 2014, customised table 49 Department of Employment, Internet Vacancy Index, August 2014, 12 month moving average ABS, Labour Force, 2013 annual average 52 Australasian Veterinary Board Council, (accessed 05 November 2014) 53 Department of Education, Higher Education Student Data Collection, 2013, customised table 54 GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables. Outcomes refer to those employed full time four months after completing their bachelor degree as a proportion of those available for full time work 55 ibid 56 Australian Veterinary Association, Submission to the Review of the demand driven funding system, 12 December The Australian, Surfeit of vets prompts call to cap places, 22 January 2014; Vet Practice Magazine, Fair Supply, 14 May Department of Employment, Employment Projections to November 2018 Department of Employment Page 13

15 Secondary School Teacher The Department recommends the removal of Secondary School Teacher. There are very few recruitment difficulties for secondary school teachers and in the small number of cases where employers do experience problems filling vacancies, it is in very specific locations or for particular teaching specialisations (which vary by location). It is consequently considered to be more appropriate that employer sponsored arrangements be used to meet any skill needs for secondary school teachers. Graduate employment outcomes are below average and training numbers are rising strongly. Widespread shortages of secondary school teachers have not been identified through the Department of Employment s research 59 at any time over the past three decades. State government education authorities confirm that there are generally adequate supplies of secondary school teachers, with some reporting that there are relatively large numbers on standby lists. In 2014, employers surveyed by the Department filled 91 per cent of their secondary school teacher vacancies (the same proportion were filled in 2013). There were 10.6 applicants per vacancy on average who held teaching qualifications, suggesting applicants face strong competition for positions. Although the Department s research notes that shortages are not apparent, some employers report that they experience difficulty recruiting for specialist teachers in subjects such as mathematics, science, information technology and Languages Other Than English. Even in these subjects, though, most employers readily fill their vacancies and have the choice of multiple suitable applicants. Some state education departments have large lists of teaching candidates. For example, at March 2014 in the public system in NSW there were about 18,900 secondary school teachers (up from 17,250 in 2013) seeking employment. The NSW Government s views are consistent with the Department s research, indicating that there is also an adequate supply of secondary teachers, except in the areas of mathematics, science with physics, some subjects in technological and applied studies, some specialist teachers and some specific subjects in particular geographical locations. and notes that there is a more than adequate supply of secondary teachers in creative arts and personal development, health and physical education 60. ABS Labour Force data show a fall of 14.8 per cent in the employment of secondary school teachers over the five years to August 2014 (and 7.4 per cent over the past year) 61. Advertised vacancy levels 62 have also fallen over the past five years, with 43 per cent fewer vacancies advertised in the year to August 2014 compared with the year to August That said, there has been a rise of 20 per cent over the past two years. Employment outcomes for bachelor degree graduates in Teacher Education: Secondary have weakened significantly over recent years and are now below the all bachelor degree average of 71.3 per cent. In 2013, 65.9 per cent of 2012 Teacher Education: Secondary bachelor degree graduates were employed full time, down from 85.0 per cent in The Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership 64 reports that, for 2012 secondary graduates 14 per cent were not working, 48 per cent were working full time in schools and 25 per cent were working part time in schools NSW Government: Department of Education and Communities, 2014 Teaching Workforce Supply and Demand: School teachers in NSW public schools 61 ABS, Labour Force, August 2014, Department of Employment trend 62 Department of Employment, Internet Vacancy Index, August 2014, 12 month moving average 63 GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables. Outcomes refer to those employed full time four months after completing their bachelor degree as a proportion of those available for full time work 64 Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, Initial Teacher Education: Data Report, 2014 Department of Employment Page 14

16 The number of domestic students commencing a Teacher Education: Secondary course increased significantly over the five years to There was a rise of 29.5 per cent in bachelor degrees and 34.8 per cent in postgraduate courses. Completions have also risen at the postgraduate level (up by 36.6 per cent over the five years), but have remained relatively stable for bachelor degrees (up by 1.8 per cent). The NSW Department of Education and Communities Teaching Workforce Supply and Demand: School teachers in NSW public schools 2014 states that the growth, however, has not aligned with the department s needs. For example, between 2006 and 2012, creative arts had more than twice the number of graduates as mathematics, an area of potential shortage Outlook The workforce is ageing, ABS data show that the median age is 43 years 66, suggesting there will be increased demand to replace teachers who retire over the next decade. In addition, future employment growth is expected to be slightly above average (up by 9.9 per cent between November 2013 and November 2018) 67 but staff turnover is low 68. Despite the age profile, job opportunities for replacement of existing teachers are unlikely to be large. The NSW Department of Education and Communities 69 notes that, in that state From 2014, retirement rates are projected to vary between three and four percent until 2020 when the rate will decrease slowly, as by then many of the baby boomers will have already retired. Graduates are, therefore, likely to continue to face difficulty gaining initial employment in the medium to long term and recruitment difficulties are likely to continue to be restricted to particular subject areas. 65 Department of Education, Higher Education Student Data Collection, 2013, customised table 66 ABS, Labour Force, 2013 annual average 67 Department of Employment, Employment Projections to November ABS, Labour Mobility, NSW Government: Department of Education and Communities, 2014 Teaching Workforce Supply and Demand: School teachers in NSW public schools Department of Employment Page 15

17 2513 Occupational and Environmental Health Professions The Department recommends the removal of Environmental Health Officer Occupational Health and Safety Adviser. Employment has been falling and research undertaken by the Department suggests that competition from local candidates for available jobs is very strong. In addition, large numbers of candidates are considered by employers to be unsuitable due to their lack of specific experience. Turnover of these workers is relatively low, and although a significant number of jobs are expected to be created over the next few years, migrants who are not job matched are likely to experience difficulty gaining employment in these occupations. Demand for occupational and environmental health professionals is readily met and there is little likelihood of shortages developing over the medium term. A number of indicators suggest that demand for these workers has fallen in recent years and in 2014, there were large fields of qualified applicants vying for vacancies 70. Employment decreased by 14.8 per cent over the two years to August Vacancy levels were 56.2 per cent lower in the year to August 2014 than they were in the year to August Environmental Health Officer The Department s skill shortage research 73 shows that over the past few years employers have consistently and readily filled high proportions of their surveyed vacancies (97 per cent were filled in 2014) there are large fields of applicants, with an average of 20.0 per vacancy in 2014, of whom 11.5 were qualified and 5.3 were considered by employers to be suitable to be competitive in the labour market, applicants require specific experience or knowledge, for example previous local government experience or sound knowledge of relevant state or territory legislation. o More than half of the applicants who were appropriately qualified were considered to be unsuitable, mainly due to lack of experience in a similar role. ABS Census data 74 show there were around 3500 environmental health officers employed in Bachelor degree graduate employment outcomes 75 in Environmental Health are well above the all bachelor degree average. In 2013, 87.5 per cent of Environmental Health bachelor degree graduates were employed (compared with 71.3 per cent for all bachelor degree graduates), but they have weakened appreciably in recent years, down from 95.7 per cent in Occupational Health and Safety Adviser It is notable that this is a really diverse occupation in varying environments, with tasks such as developing, implementing and reviewing occupational health and safety plans and programmes undertaking inspections and audits and ensuring workplaces are compliant with legislation providing training, investigating workplace incidents and coordinating return to work arrangements ABS, Labour Force, August 2014, Department of Employment trend 72 Department of Employment, Internet Vacancy Index, 12 month moving average ABS, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (more recent data are unavailable at the occupation level) 75 GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables. Outcomes refer to those employed full time four months after completing their bachelor degree as a proportion of those available for full time work Department of Employment Page 16

18 ABS Census data 76 show there were around 15,300 occupational health and safety advisers employed in There are very large fields of applicants for advertised occupational health and safety adviser positions 77. There were 66.0 applicants, on average per vacancy in 2014, of whom 6.5 were considered by employers to be suitable. Most of the small number of unfilled vacancies surveyed in 2014 were in the Construction industry and required specialist skills. Around 90 per cent of applicants were considered to be unsuitable, but given the very large numbers of applicants there were still multiple suitable candidates for jobs. o The key reason for unsuitability was lack of industry specific experience (employer comments suggest that the skills of occupational health and safety advisers are not readily transferable between industries, roles or workplace settings). Noting that there are multiple pathways to employment in this occupation, it is still useful to look at bachelor degree graduate employment outcomes 78. In 2013, 78.2 per cent of Occupational Health and Safety graduates were employed (well above the all bachelor degree average of 71.3 per cent), but they have weakened in recent years, down from 90.4 per cent in Outlook Indicators for the future are mixed but they do not suggest that shortages are likely to re emerge over the next few years. These occupations have low average turnover 79 but the median age is slightly higher than the all occupations average (42 years compared with 40 years) 80. Employment is projected to increase by 17.3 per cent over the five years to November 2018 (above the national average rate of 7.2 per cent). This equates to around 4500 new jobs 81. Training pathways to these occupations are varied, making an assessment of future new supply difficult. ABS data from the Survey of Education and Work 82 highlight this, showing that 42 per cent had a bachelor degree or higher qualification, 21 per cent held an advanced diploma or diploma, 21 per cent had a certificate III or IV and 15 per cent did not have post school qualifications. The industry base for these occupations is quite diverse, with around 20 per cent of workers employed in Public Administration and Safety, and 10 to 15 per cent in each of Mining, Manufacturing and Construction 83. The subdued level of activity in Mining and Manufacturing is likely to dampen demand from those sectors over the next few years, although demand from the Construction sector may be boosted by strengthening activity in line with expected new infrastructure projects and residential construction. The key issue in this labour market is employers demands for very specific skills and experience (which are diverse and not readily transferable). For example, for occupational health and safety adviser there are around 60 unsuitable applicants per vacancy, many of whom have qualifications and experience. The lack of transferability of skills is likely to mean that migrants may face difficulty gaining employment. 76 ABS, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (more recent data are unavailable at the occupation level) GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables. Outcomes refer to those employed full time four months after completing their bachelor degree as a proportion of those available for full time work 79 ABS, Labour Mobility, ABS, Labour Force Survey, annual average Department of Employment, Employment Projections to November ABS, Survey of Education and Work, ABS, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 Department of Employment Page 17

19 Barrister The Department recommends the removal of Barrister. Employment in this occupation is restricted. Entry is usually from the ranks of solicitors and membership of a professional body at the state or territory level is required to practice as a barrister, meaning opportunities for migrants are restricted. Department of Employment Page 18

20 Solicitor The Department recommends the removal of Solicitor. There are large fields of candidates for solicitor jobs and weakening employment outcomes for Law graduates, reflecting a strong rise in training and low levels of advertised vacancies. The Department s research and recent media articles suggest there is a surplus of Law graduates. Employment growth for solicitors was relatively strong over the five years to August 2014 (up by 9.1 per cent) but employment fell over the year to August The number of advertised vacancies for solicitors, though, has been decreasing over the past five years and is now at an historically low level. There were 55.9 per cent fewer advertised vacancies for solicitors in the year to August 2014 compared with the year to August There are large numbers of qualified applicants for advertised vacancies 86. Surveyed vacancies were generally filled in 2014 and, on average, there were 18.1 qualified applicants for each vacancy, of whom 4.1 were considered to be suitable. Employers advertising regional vacancies had markedly smaller fields of qualified candidates (an average of 10.5 per vacancy) but they still had the choice of multiple suitable applicants (2.5 per vacancy). There has been strong growth in higher education training in Law in recent years. Commencements in bachelor degree courses 87 in Law rose by 28.9 per cent between 2008 and 2013, and growth has been even greater in postgraduate courses (up by 35.5 per cent). Completions have also risen markedly, with this trend most evident for postgraduate courses. Bachelor degree completions in Law rose by 15.7 per cent over the five years, but postgraduate completions increased by 55.2 per cent. Employment outcomes for graduates in Law remain well above the all bachelor degree graduate average, but have fallen markedly and very few of these graduates gain employment as solicitors 88. In 2013, 78.5 per cent were employment, down from 91.0 per cent in A significant number of media articles 89 comment that there is an oversupply of graduates while positions continue to be shed, particularly from larger firms. They quote concerns expressed by the Law Council of Australia and the Queensland Law Society about insufficient job opportunities for law graduates. Outlook Above average employment growth is expected for solicitors over the five years from 2013 to 2018, creating 8500 jobs 90. It is notable, though, that there were more than 13,600 domestic course completions in the field of education Law in and higher commencements over the past few years suggest that completion numbers will continue to rise. 84 ABS, Labour Force, August 2014, Department of Employment trend 85 Department of Employment, Internet Vacancy Index, August 2014, 12 month moving average Department of Education, Higher Education Student Data Collection, 2013, customised table 88 GCA, Graduate Destinations, 2013, customised tables. Outcomes refer to those employed full time four months after completing their bachelor degree as a proportion of those available for full time work 89 Australian Financial Review, Too many graduates, not enough jobs, 4 April 2014; Adelaide Advertiser, Australia awash with law graduates, 26 May 2014; The Australian, Top tier firms axe hundreds of jobs, 4 July 2014; The Australian, Too many graduates in a world where 'clients' are recasting themselves as 'consumers', 18 July 2014; The Australian, Unis continue to churn out graduates, 31 October Department of Employment, Employment Projections to November Department of Education, Higher Education Student Data Collection, 2013, customised table Department of Employment Page 19

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