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8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2011   
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SKILLS


Skills used in undertaking core business activities

All businesses were asked to identify the types of skills used in undertaking core business activities. The list of skills was limited to those shown in the table and businesses were not required to list any other skills. Businesses were able to report more than one type of skill and were not asked to rank skills in order of importance.

Skills used in undertaking core business activities, by employment size(a)(b), 2009 - 10

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Engineering
11.2
12.8
16.5
37.1
12.2
Scientific and research
5.1
4.1
6.0
18.1
4.9
IT professionals
11.4
19.4
31.6
60.9
15.8
IT support technicians
13.0
24.4
32.8
58.0
18.4
Trades
25.2
32.1
33.8
43.4
28.1
Transport, plant & machinery operation
14.6
20.0
24.2
40.7
17.2
Marketing
16.4
22.8
30.6
51.0
19.7
Project management
9.3
10.5
20.0
47.3
10.7
Business management
17.6
21.6
33.0
55.8
20.3
Financial
22.2
29.2
40.8
70.6
26.1

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size range.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one type of skill used for core business activities.


Overall, trades (28%) and financial (26%) were the types of skills most widely used by businesses in undertaking core business activities. Businesses with 0-4 persons employed and 5-19 persons employed had trades skills as the most commonly used in undertaking core business activities (25% and 32% respectively), while financial skills were the most commonly used by businesses with 20-199 persons employed (41%) and 200 or more persons employed (71%). Scientific and research skills were least likely to be used by businesses across all employment size ranges (5%).

The types of skills used across industries varied depending on the nature of work undertaken. Engineering skills were the most likely to be used by businesses in Mining (40%), while IT professionals were most commonly used by businesses in Information media and telecommunications (36%).

Innovation-active businesses were three times more likely to use marketing skills in undertaking core business activities than non innovation-active businesses.


Skills shortage or deficiency in undertaking core business activities

All businesses were asked if there was a shortage or deficiency in types of skills needed to undertake core business activities. Businesses were asked to report for all skills shortages or deficiencies irrespective of whether they had been able to address the shortage or deficiency. The list of skills was limited to those shown in the table; businesses were not required to list any other skills for which there may have been a shortage or deficiency. Businesses were able to report for more than one type of skill and were not required to rank the skills.

Skills shortage or deficiency in undertaking core business activities, by employment size(a)(b), 2009 - 10

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Types of skill shortage or deficiency
Engineering
1.6
1.5
4.0
10.9
1.8
Scientific and research
0.4
0.3
1.2
2.1
0.5
IT professionals
2.2
2.6
3.9
5.3
2.5
IT support technicians
1.7
1.6
2.6
3.5
1.7
Trades
6.5
15.0
14.3
12.0
9.8
Transport, plant and machinery operation
1.6
2.7
4.8
9.3
2.2
Marketing
3.3
3.5
4.7
2.6
3.5
Project management
0.8
2.0
3.7
6.8
1.4
Business management
2.7
2.9
4.8
4.2
2.9
Financial
3.2
4.0
4.0
6.6
3.5

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size range.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one type of skill shortage or deficiency for core business activities.


For all business sizes, the most common shortages or deficiencies were for trades skills (10%), more than double that of any other type.

Businesses in Wholesale trade were most likely to have a shortage or deficiency in marketing skills (6%), while those in Construction were most likely to have a shortage or deficiency in trades skills (24%).

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