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Overall, trades and financial (both 27%) were the types of skills most widely used by businesses in undertaking core business activities. One quarter of businesses with 0-4 persons employed reported the use of trades skills. Financial skills were the most likely to be used by businesses with 5-19 persons employed (32%), 20-199 persons employed (40%) and 200 or more persons employed (62%). Across all employment size ranges, the least frequently reported type of skill used in undertaking core business activities was scientific and research (4%).
By industry, the types of skills used varied depending on the nature of the work undertaken. Financial and engineering were the skills most likely to be used by the Mining industry (46% and 39% respectively). Skills associated with IT professionals and IT support technicians were most commonly reported by businesses in Information, media and telecommunications (40% and 36%, respectively). Construction recorded the highest use of trades skills (63%).
Innovation-active businesses were three times more likely to use marketing skills in undertaking core business activities (33%) than non innovation-active businesses (11%) and over twice as likely to use skills associated with IT professionals (26% and 10%, respectively).
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 during the year ended 30 June 2011. 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.
The most commonly reported type of skills shortage or deficiency in undertaking core business activities were trades (10%). Shortage or deficiency in engineering skills had the largest percentage point variation between employment size ranges, from 2% for businesses with 0-4 persons employed, to 10% for those with 200 or more persons employed.
The types of skills shortage or deficiency reported varied across industries. Businesses in Mining were the most likely to report a shortage or deficiency in engineering (6%) and scientific and research skills (6%), while those in Agriculture, forestry and fishing were the most likely to report skills shortage or deficiency in transport, plant and machinery operation (11%).
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