Australia: Financial adviser enters skills shortage list

| 12 Oct 2023

Financial investment advisers have been identified as an area experiencing a skill shortage according to Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA).

The annual Skills Priority List, released by JSA, provides a current assessment of the Australian labour market.  

Financial investment advisers are one of 66 occupations assessed as being “in shortage” in 2023 when they had not been in 2022.

The number of financial advisers has been in steady decline in recent years since the Hayne Royal Commission.

It fell below 20,000 for the first time since 2015 in September 2021, and is now at 15,692.   

JSA identified occupations with “a strong gender imbalance” are more likely to be in shortage with over half of occupations where males make up at least 80% of the workforce experiencing shortages.  

Research by Wealth Data in September found the split of male to female financial advisers overall is 77% male and 23% female, just slightly lower than JSA’s example. However, when breaking it down by sector, the number of male advisers in the investment advice sector is 83%.  

Other financial services jobs that are in a shortage this year include insurance loss adjuster and taxation accountant. 

“The increases over the last three years are being driven by the continued tightness in labour market conditions,” the report said. 

“While underlying drivers of shortages can vary across occupations, it is anticipated that these shortages reflect either a lack of people who have the essential technical skills or other (non-technical) qualities that employers consider are important; or those with the right technical skills and other qualities who aren’t willing to apply for the vacancies under current pay and working conditions.” 

The share of employment for the financial services and insurance industry is 3.9% and is projected to remain that proportion in May 2028 and May 2033.  

Employment growth is projected to be 6.5% over the next five years and 13.8% over the next 10 years. 

The report also noted only 1% of employers changed the remuneration offered in response to job shortages to attract skilled workers.  

As well as data from the JSA, a Treasury report into jobs and opportunities found financial investment advisers are least likely to be working in their nominated occupation.  

The job is one of 10 roles that have the lowest share of permanent migrants working in the nominated occupation or at a higher skill level nominated occupation. Some 37.7% are working in the nominated occupation and 7.9% are working at the same or higher skill level as the nominated occupation. 

This compared to almost 100% for medical roles such as resident medical officer, dentist, physiotherapist and general medical practitioner, reported Money Management.