A recent job vacancy survey has found there are nearly 12,000 more unfilled positions than at the same time last year. This, while the unemployment rate remains at an atrocious 6.2 per cent across the nation.

The survey marks shift from the resources sector to other growth areas in the economy – most notably health and community services.

The report details that since 2006 the resources sector has created 40,756 new positions; while health and community services have opened up 337,100 new jobs. The 2015 Environmental Scan for the Health and Community Services Industry believes this will only continue. They are expecting the sector to offer another 229,400 jobs between 2013 and 2018.

The Internet Vacancy Index backs up the strong figures. According to their research, job vacancies grew by 12.6 per cent in the health and community services industry, 10.2 per cent in the clerical and administration sector, and 9.2 per cent amongst professional services.

Rod Cooke, the chief executive of the Community services and Health Industry Skills Council, believed the Federal Government would do well to financially support training for this fast-growing sector.

“This is where all the growth is,” he told reporters. “This is where the jobs are.

“It does not seem to be a priority in Federal and State Government agencies, even though one in four jobs is in the health and community services sector.”

Steve Shepherd, an employment analyst with think-tank Ranstad Employment, believes the surging unemployment figures were exacerbated by jobseekers and older Australians returning to work.

“Jobseekers feel like there is more opportunity, more jobs around so they come back into the market if they might have dropped out for a few months.

“Last year in the federal budget the government changed the pension scheme which meant those that were on pensions had to show jobseeker activity and that put more people back into the job market.”

The gap between jobseekers and offered positions, says Mr Shepherd, comes down to skills shortages.

People losing their jobs in one industry have no skills in another – they need new skills for the new economy.

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