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Skills Shortage on the Rise in Key Professions

Skills shortage on the rise in key professions

Engineering, natural sciences professions and IT professions are experiencing an acute talent shortage in Switzerland. (Keystone)

Switzerland’s talent shortage is more pronounced in 2018, a new survey has found. Technical, financial, and medical professions are most affected, while job seekers in the hospitality, retail, and administrative sectors face the greatest competition.

These are the results of the 2018 Skills Shortage Indexexternal link compiled by The Adecco Group Switzerland in collaboration with the University of Zurich’s Job Market Monitor. The annual index compares the number of vacancies in occupations to the number of job seekers.

In the past year, the index rose 9% for engineering and natural sciences professions and 8% for IT professions, where companies are struggling to find enough qualified staff. The finance and fiduciary sectors (e.g. auditors) are also facing shortages but remain stable.

Healthcare professions also had higher skills shortages than the average, continuing a growing trend of the past two years. Doctors, especially, are in short supply across Switzerland; in German-speaking Switzerland there is a particular lack of qualified midwives and nurses. Caregiver and home care positions are easier to fill.

+ How Switzerland’s 2.4% unemployment rate can also cause problems

Companies can address these gaps by improving hiring practices including offering more attractive salaries.

“If they are still unable to fill positions, however, they will be forced to look for qualified specialists abroad. In the long term, companies would do well to invest more in the training and further education of their current and potential future employees,” said Helen Buchs from the Swiss Job Market Monitor at the University of Zurich.

Those sectors with an oversupply of candidates include hospitality and personal services, where there are significantly more job seekers than advertised vacancies. “As a result of the comparatively high rate of staff fluctuations in these professions, this then leads to increased competition between specialists,” added Buchs.

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