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Australia: Skills shortage pushing up trade wages

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Mon Oct 18 2010

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(From abc.net.au) The ACT has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3 per cent.

Chris Peters from the ACT Chamber of Commerce says workers in trades such as refrigeration and car mechanics are in high demand.

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"Refrigeration mechanics are in acute shortage as are motor car mechanics as are electricians as are most of the professions," he said.

"We've got a skill shortage across just about everything and ones in the greatest demands, which are the engineering professions such as refrigeration, are attracting the highest salaries."

Mr Peters says staff shortages are so severe, business owners are doing everything they can to attract good employees.

"The most striking example I have come across is refrigerator mechanics. That's a four year trade and then someone with a trade qualification and at least a couple of years of work place experience, the starting salary is in the order of $160,000 a year," he said.

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