Sparkies in high demand says SEEK Employment Report
The SEEK October Employment Report has confirmed the excellent position of electricians in Australia, with an impressive growth in employment opportunities throughout the sector nationally amidst a positive situation for jobs and growth in Australia.
Growth is particularly pronounced in our two largest states, with Victoria experiencing an impressive rise of 66% and New South Wales reporting a 20% rise in listings that accounted for nearly half of all Trades and Services job ad growth in the state. These trends reflect the broader competition between the two economies, with Victoria making the most pronounced contribution to the year on growth of 2.8% in job listings since last October with 48% of the national job growth.
SEEK ANZ Managing Director Kendra Banks reflected on the shifting state of play in the report. “Earlier in the year we saw Victoria and New South Wales competing to be crowned Australia’s biggest contributor to job ad growth. What we are seeing now is a stark divergence between the two states, whilst NSW continues to post the majority of job ads their growth has remained flat, whereas Victoria is the undisputed engine of growth accounting for 48% of positive job ad growth nationally,” she said.
SEEK put the high demand for sparkies down to numerous factors, with strong year on year hiring growth across states for electricians within both the domestic and commercial markets.
“Electricians require extensive training, skills and qualifications before they head into field. From speaking to recruiters in the Trades & Services industry, we know this field has strong, long-lasting career prospects,” Banks explained.
The profession is well prepared to overcome the challenges posed by automation, due to the critical reasoning and dynamic nature of the work. The report also noted the growing demand for specialised technicians and noted demand in Victoria was being driven by the rapid expansion in the construction projects across the residential, commercial and public infrastructure sectors.
Protech Business Manager – Victoria Michael Bateman commented: “We are seeing this demand reflected in the candidates our clients are seeking, with more specialised skill sets expected of electricians to their relevant industry. For example, there is an increased requirement for High Voltage/Commissioning Technicians to service the demand in construction and infrastructure work, electricians with Data/AV Specialisations within Facility Management and for electricians in the facility maintenance and service industry, which service health care facilities and schools. We are also seeing a significant increase in demand for electrical apprentices within the Commercial industry for both general and data cabling work.”
However, some of the data should be cause for concern for the industry. Employers are experiencing increasing difficulty attracting candidates as demand outpaces supply across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. This is despite the highly competitive remuneration packages, with an average annual salary of $82,700 in Australia.
For example in Victoria, nearly a quarter (23%) of the ad growth in Trades & Services sector are for electricians despite the state suffering the biggest drop in candidate availability over the past year with a 37% decrease.
“To make sure we are meeting the demand for candidates we need to educate people on the exciting career prospects within the electrician trade and its longevity,” Banks concluded.
Luckily, the Victorian state government is responding to the challenge well. With TAFE recently becoming free, studying to be a sparkie is easily the most popular choice for aspiring tradespeople according to our sources from Box Hill TAFE administration. The future looks very bright indeed.