However, ALGA President Mayor David O’Loughlin, described the report as ‘sobering reading’, with the report showing emerging skill shortages and training shortfalls.
The report found that the local government sector has a considerably older workforce than the broader Australian sector, has an ongoing declining participation rate of workers under 30 and does not have enough apprentices to meet future workloads.
“Findings from the survey also reveal that the local government sector is facing major skills shortages in key professional and technical occupations with almost 70% of local governments experiencing a skill shortage and skill gaps. Engineers, Urban and Town Planners, Building Surveyors, Environmental Health Officers, and Project Managers topped the list of occupations in demand,” Mayor O’Loughlin said.
The report found that the key reasons behind the growing skills shortage include the inability of the local government sector to compete with the private sector in remuneration, remoteness and a small local talent pool.
“The survey also revealed that 60% of local governments have unmet training needs arising from the high cost of training and lack of training available locally, and 70% of local governments have done no analysis or forecasting of changing roles/skills requirements arising from digital disruption and technology changes,” Mr O’Loughlin said.