Research and analysis

Labour shortages, skill shortages and skill gaps

Review of labour shortages, skill shortages and skill gaps by the Migration Advisory Committee.


Migration Advisory Committee Review of Labour Shortages, Skill Shortages and Skill Gaps - 28 April 08

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The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) commissioned this research to provide an overview of theoretical and practical issues in the conceptualisation and measurement of labour shortages, skills shortages and skills gaps in the context of its terms of reference.

The research evidence is aimed at assisting MAC with it’s aim of compiling clearly specified lists of occupations that can sensibly be filled by allowing employers to recruit migrants.

In providing evidence to support this decision making, the study conducted a review of existing literature:

  • to identify issues and thinking around the concept and definition of ‘skill shortages’
  • to assess the different measures of skill shortages that have already been developed
  • to assess the use of potential indicators from currently available national data to identify labour shortages
  • to evaluate other countries’ experience in measuring labour and skills shortages for the purpose of managing migration

This report presents evidence from the literature review and outlines key findings from the analysis.

Published 28 April 2008