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New Skills Shortage Quarterly Report Shows Rise in Skilled Occupation Fill Rates

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Rising fill rates point to potential labour market softening

Jobs and Skills Australia’s new Skills Shortage Quarterly (SSQ) reports provide valuable insights for registered training organisations (RTOs) looking to stay on top of the latest trends in the labour market. The report reveals that the national fill rate for skilled occupations has been on the rise, standing at 63% in the March 2023 quarter, up from 59% in the December 2023 quarter and 56% in the March 2022 quarter.

Skilled occupations typically require a higher qualification such as a bachelor’s degree or Certificate III/IV. The rising fill rate, along with easing recruitment difficulty and stable job ads, suggests a potential softening of the labour market. This is great news for RTOs and their students, as it could mean more job opportunities in their field.

Skills Shortage Quarterly Report Findings

While there was little quarterly change in the number of applicants per vacancy and suitable applicants per vacancy, both have seen significant rises over the past year. In the March 2023 quarter, there were an average of 14.1 applicants per vacancy (up from 10.1 in March 2022) and 2.4 suitable applicants per vacancy (up from 1.7 in March 2022).

If fill rates continue to rise and the number of qualified and suitable applicants per vacancy increases, occupation shortages may unwind. This could mean a more stable and favourable job market for RTO students and graduates.

The Skills Shortage Quarterly report draws on data from JSA’s Survey of Employers who Recently Advertised (SERA) and complements and expands on skill shortage discussions in JSA’s quarterly Labour Market Update (LMU) report. It stands alongside the Internet Vacancy Index and Recruitment Experiences Outlook Survey as a key indicator of the direction of the labour market.

What the Findings from the Skills Shortage Quarterly Report Could Mean for Your RTO

For RTOs, the rising fill rates for skilled occupations and the increase in suitable applicants per vacancy could mean that it’s becoming easier to find the right person for the job. However, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and developments in your industry to ensure that your training programs are up-to-date and in-demand.


As an RTO, it’s essential to keep track of the latest trends and developments in the labour market to provide the best training resources for your students. Jobs and Skills Australia’s Skills Shortage Quarterly report provides valuable insights into the direction of the labour market and the potential impact on job opportunities for RTO graduates. By staying informed and up-to-date, RTOs can ensure that they are providing the most relevant and in-demand training programs for their students.

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