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12 March, 2021

Local employers struggle to find skilled workers

NATIONAL employment agency APM has revealed there are people in Mackay who refuse to work and are dependent on government handouts.

By Andrew Sorensen

APM Mackay business Manager Laura Hanbridge said heaps of job vacancies were available in Mackay as employers in job sectors such as hospitality, age and disability support, traffic control and even trucking were struggling to fill in the gaps.

“What we’re finding now is that there is a skill shortage, so areas such as age and disability support, that’s a booming industry,” Ms Handbridge said.

She said that during the pandemic, there was no consequence for job seekers turning down job offers, especially when the pandemic was in full swing and lives were disrupted.

She said many employers were struggling to fill in these positions.

“We had multiple employers regularly come to us, desperately trying to find people and they just weren’t able to fill the vacancies,” Ms Handbridge said.

“We really didn’t see a dip in job vacancies: We saw an increase in jobs during COVID-19 last year.

“One of the industries we found most challenging was hospitality.

“We were also in a similar position where we weren’t able to fill the vacancies as well.

“Lot of job seekers didn’t want to work – they wanted to stay on the COVID-19 supplements.”

However, one of the biggest turns-offs for many job seekers was the cost of studying.

She said that most had to pay for their own equipment for work and even trying to find a company willing to take them on for placements, which could help with experience.

“The issue we have with that is that it is a six month course, minimum and they had to do a hundred hours of work placement,” she said.

“We got a quite few clients doing their study, but we can’t place them into employment straight away because it takes at least six months.

“We got employers crying out to employ people. We have so many employers even willing to start people before they finish their course.”

She said that APM will help supplement some studying costs, but said it was often very expensive for people to pay for their studies.

This is still the case with areas such as age and disability care.

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