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8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/09/2009   
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SKILLS



Skills used in undertaking core business activities

All businesses were asked to identify the types of skills that were used in undertaking core business activities.The list of skills was limited to those shown in the tables; 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(a)(b), by employment size, 2007 - 08

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

Engineering
10.3
11.8
15.9
41.7
11.3
Scientific and research
4.0
5.0
9.2
21.1
4.8
IT professionals
12.5
20.0
30.0
62.5
16.3
IT support technicians
13.8
24.7
37.6
63.7
19.0
Trades
25.4
28.6
25.6
42.7
26.4
Transport, plant and machinery operation
12.1
16.3
20.7
37.1
14.1
Marketing
15.6
24.7
31.2
57.2
19.6
Project management
8.9
10.0
21.3
52.0
10.5
Business management
14.3
23.0
36.4
63.1
18.7
Financial
19.9
29.9
42.8
70.5
24.8

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


Overall, trades (26%) and financial (25%) were the types of skills most widely used by businesses. Marketing skills were more common in businesses with 200 or more persons employed (57%), compared to businesses with 0-4 persons employed at 16%.

The types of skills used across industries varied depending on the nature of work undertaken. Engineering skills were the most likely to be used in Mining, along with IT professionals within Professional, scientific and technical services, both at 36%.

Innovation-active businesses were more than twice as likely to use IT professionals 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 tables; 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(a)(b)(c), by employment size, 2007 - 08

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

Type of skill shortage or deficiency
Engineering
1.9
2.9
4.9
13.6
2.5
Scientific and research
0.7
0.5
3.0
3.7
0.8
IT professionals
1.3
2.4
4.0
8.1
1.9
IT support technicians
1.4
2.8
2.6
5.3
1.9
Trades
8.4
15.2
15.3
16.1
10.9
Transport, plant and machinery operation
1.7
2.0
4.7
4.7
2.1
Marketing
3.3
4.0
2.6
3.8
3.5
Project management
1.0
1.3
3.9
7.1
1.3
Business management
2.4
5.6
3.0
4.9
3.3
Financial
4.1
4.6
4.4
9.5
4.3

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size category.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one type of skill shortage or deficiency for general business activities.
(c) Skills not listed were not required to be reported on.


The most commonly reported type of skills shortage or deficiency were trades at 11%, more than double that of any other listed skills. Shortages or deficiency in engineering skills had the largest range in results across employment size groups, from 2% for 0-4 persons to 14% for businesses with 200 or more persons.

The types of skills shortage or deficiency reported varied across industries. Businesses in Wholesale were most likely to report marketing as a skills shortage or deficiency at 11%, while those in Construction were most likely to report skills shortage or deficiency in trades (23%).

Innovation-active businesses were three times as likely to report a marketing skills shortage or deficiency than non-innovation active businesses. A third of all innovation-active businesses reported using marketing skills.


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