The Australian CEO Survey 2022 reveals that business leaders are expecting COVID-19 and skills shortage to be the major inhibitors of their companies' growth this 2022. 79% of CEOs are found to be anticipating further disruptions this year, with almost half of them saying COVID-19 will be the leading inhibitor to growth and skill shortages the third most nominated inhibitor.
73% of CEOs are also anticipating hardships in finding and retaining talent this year which reflects the ongoing staff shortages in Australia, made worse by the outbreak of the Omicron variant. Consequently, supply chains have been disrupted with the essential workers falling ill or having been confirmed as close contacts. 17% of CEOs are expecting improvement in the supply chain disruptions while 31% believe that it will be no different from the turmoil last year.
To address the issue regarding supply chains, the report has revealed that business leaders are now focusing on changing inventory practices and supply arrangements. Companies are also looking to invest in staff training and development.
“It’s estimated that over the next few years, Australia will need approximately 11,000 new engineers annually, which is around 2,400 more than the domestic undergraduate engineering completions each year. Some of this shortfall usually comes from the more than 6,000 overseas undergraduate engineering students who graduate each year and who are able to work for two years in Australia. It is an imperative to continuously develop those currently in employment, the existing workforce. This will need to be an ongoing effort, be work-based, and industry-led,” highlights Megan Lilly, Executive Director for Education and Training, Australian Industry Group.