Federal Government Acknowledges Skills Shortage

The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) says the recent release of the National Skills Commission’s Priority Skilled Migration Occupation List (PMSOL) means the federal government has finally acknowledged that trade positions across the automotive industry are in critically short supply.

The acknowledgement follows lobbying by the VACC and its members throughout 2022 to have mechanics added to the PMSOL. According to the chamber, the updated list is a step in the right direction.

“The acknowledgement by the Albanese government that automotive positions remain in short supply is a promising start. VACC is hopeful this will inform future iterations of the PMSOL,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.

“The government has overlooked the automotive industry’s needs for many years despite severe skills shortages, so VACC welcomes this recent and much needed change.”

“Skills shortages affect many industries, highlighted by the 12-month jump from 153 to 286 occupations officially ‘in shortage’, according to the latest PMSOL.

“The automotive sector, however, has been particularly hard hit with 38,700 positions unfilled across Australia.”

According to the VACC, the situation is severe for light vehicle mechanic positions, with 23,904 positions unfilled. These include unfilled positions in panel beating (1710), vehicle spray painter (1650), heavy vehicle mechanic (2995), and automotive electricians (1790), while spare parts interpreters (1380) also remain critical.