A business body says skills shortages are holding WA back. 

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) says the Western Australian resources sector is highly concerned about skilled labour shortages.

The CCIWA Business Confidence Survey for the 2021 September quarter finds nine in 10 resources businesses identify skills shortages as a barrier to business.

But the sector is also the most confident of any in Western Australia, with 76 per cent of resources businesses forecasting stronger economic conditions to conclude 2021.

CCIWA chief economist Aaron Morey says the WA Government must facilitate growth across Western Australia’s economy, which it says is short 55,000 workers.

“In addition to vindicating the National Cabinet roadmap, the results reinforce the need for the State Government to adopt measures to drive economic diversification,” Mr Morey said.

“With a significant budget surplus, the Government has cover to fuel growth through tax and regulatory reform, as well as more strongly competing against other markets for business investment.

“Recent investment attraction efforts from Queensland and New South Wales show there is fierce competition for business investment.”