THE latest Commonwealth Bank – CCI Survey of Business Expectations has found that businesses are employing a variety of measures to grow and retain their workforce as labour shortages start to bite.
The results show that nearly half of employers in Western Australia intend to employ local workers, almost one-quarter are looking to interstate (12 per cent) and overseas (11 per cent) to find the experience they need.
Inexperienced workers, including trainees, apprentices and graduates, will also be in demand over the next 12 months, with 40 per cent of WA businesses surveyed looking to employ from these groups.
One quarter of local businesses are planning to re-train their existing staff to address labour shortages, with the majority providing on-the-job training.
However, the average training budget was only 3 per cent of the total budget of those businesses surveyed.
Finding ways to deal with labour shortages will become increasingly important for local businesses with around one third of WA businesses struggling to find suitable workers in the September quarter.
“Failure to address current and future labour requirements not only limits the capacity of business to grow, but has economy-wide implications by raising prices and interest rates,” CCIWA chief economist John Nicolaou said.
The Commonwealth Bank’s general manager corporate financial services WA, Greg Caust, said while the key issues faced by business were not new, they were against a different global and economic landscape after the GFC.
‘‘Daily discussions with our clients and the broader business community would seem to indicate cautious optimism going into 2011,” he said.
Mr Beck, who runs an independent property asset management firm, is also state treasurer and division councillor of the Property Council of Australia, chairman of the Curtin University property studies advisory committee, and board member of The University of Western Australia planning degree advisory committee.
He has also been a board member of the art gallery for four years.
“I hope to build awareness of the foundation and express to fellow Western Australians how important it is to support the state art collection, which is significant to the cultural wellbeing of our community,” Mr Beck said.