Release type: Joint Media Release


2022 Skills Priority List almost doubles occupations with skills shortages


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

The number of occupations suffering skills shortages has nearly doubled in the past year according to the National Skills Commission’s (NSC) 2022 Skills Priority list, released today.
The release of the Skills Priority list comes ahead of skills ministers from all Australian jurisdictions meeting in person in Melbourne this Friday. The Ministerial Skills Council will consider how best to address acute skill shortages across many sectors of the economy.
The Skills Priority list shows that 286 assessed occupations were in national shortage, compared to 153 occupations in 2021. 
This is a staggering increase, highlighting the urgent need to respond to the biggest skills and labour shortage in decades, which is compounding economic challenges. 
The demand for workers has grown with the number of jobs advertised reaching 309,900 in August 2022 – a 42 per cent increase from the same time last year with employers struggling to fill vacancies. 
Of the 20 largest employing occupations, more than half were facing skills shortages.

Occupations in shortage increased across all skills levels and include: 

  1. Professionals, particularly in the Health and Education Sector including Teachers, General Practitioners and Registered Nurses. 
  2. Technicians and Trades Workers including Electricians, Carpenters, chefs and Motor mechanics. 
  3. Machinery Operators, Drivers and Labourers
  4. Community and Personal Service Workers including Aged or Disability Carers, and Child Care workers. 

Comments attributed to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“Our Jobs and Skills summit highlighted the importance of quality training opportunities to ensure better jobs and a better future for Australians.

“Today’s report shows the previous Liberal National Government dropped the ball on supporting these opportunities, meaning the number of professions now on the skills priority list has almost doubled.

“My Government is focused on growing our vocational and training sector, delivering 465,000 fee-free TAFE places to help address skills shortages, and upgrading key TAFE infrastructure.

“We also have a strong focus on opening up more opportunities for apprentices and traineeships, giving people on the job work experience.”
Comments attributed to Skills Minister Brendan O’Connor:
“The staggering jump in occupations listed reinforces the urgent need to tackle skills shortages.
“After a decade of inaction, we have taken immediate steps since forming Government to plan for the future, address skills gaps and strengthen our VET sector.

“That is why the Albanese Government convened the Jobs and Skills Summit and is prioritising the passage of the Jobs and Skills Australia Bill, which is now in the Senate for passage. 
“It’s also why national cabinet agreed to 180,000 fee free TAFE places by 2023 and why the Labor Government has pledged to deliver 20,000 new university places. 

“By investing in skills, we can capitalise on the demonstrable connection between a trained and skilled workforce and a more productive economy.”

Top 20 occupations in demand (based on 2022 Skills Priority List, national internet job vacancies and national-level employment projections)

Internet Vacancy Index job ads
(June to Aug 2022 monthly average)

Registered Nurses


Software and Applications Programmers


Aged and Disabled Carers


Construction Managers


Child Carers


Motor Mechanics


Retail Managers




ICT Business and Systems Analysts


Metal Fitters and Machinists






Civil Engineering Professionals


Contract, Program and Project Administrators


General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers


Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers




Mining Engineers




Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers