Previous labour market rating (Jan 2015) No Shortage
Despite a recent tightening in the labour market for dentists, advertised vacancies attract an average of three suitable applicants each and employers are generally able to fill vacancies across a broad range of seniority levels.
All surveyed vacancies attracted multiple qualified applicants. Less than 20 per cent of these applicants, however, were identified by employers as being suitable.
The main reason cited by employers for the unsuitability of qualified applicants was a lack of clinical experience, either in general dentistry or in a particular aspect of dentistry. Other reasons included a poor job application, inadequate communication skills and unsatisfactory work history.
Demand and supply trends
There were 16,211 registered dentists in Australia in March 2016, an increase of 14 per cent since March 2012.2
The Department of Employment’s Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) shows a strong increase in vacancies for dentists over the past three years to reach a series peak in the year to June 2016.3 It should be noted that a substantial number of vacancies are advertised on the Australian Dental Association website and are not captured by the IVI.
There has been strong growth in award course completions that lead to provisional registration as a dental practitioner in recent years.
Completions increased more than threefold between 2007 and 2013 to around 600 but dropped to 540 in 2014 (most recent data available).4
The full-time employment outcome for new bachelor degree graduates in dentistry was 86.7 per cent in 2015, well above the average for all bachelor degree graduates (68.8 per cent).5
The full-time employment outcome for dentistry students improved in 2015 (up by 7.1 percentage points compared with 2014) but was below the outcome for 2006 (97.3 per cent).6
Other indicators and issues
In August 2013, the Australian Government introduced the Dental Relocation and Infrastructure Support Scheme (DRISS). The scheme aims to assist and encourage dentists to relocate to remote areas by providing grants to alleviate costs associated with setting up dental practices in these areas.7
1 More information on the SERA can be found at https://docs.employment.gov.au/node/34245
2 Australian Health Practitioners Registration Agency: Dental Board of Australia, Dental Practitioner Registrant Data, various issues. Data include non-practising dentists.
3 Department of Employment, Internet Vacancy Index, June 2016, 12 month moving average. Data include dentists and specialist dentists.
4 Department of Education and Training, Higher Education 2014 Award course completions, Table 19: Award Course Completions for all students by Special Interest Course, 2001 to 2014, https://education.gov.au/higher-education-statistics?page=2&resource= (last accessed 22 July 2016)
5 GCA, Grad Stats, various issues. The full-time employment outcome refers to the proportion of graduates available for full-time work who were employed full-time (in any occupation) four months after graduation.
6 GCA, Grad Stats, various issues
7Department of Health, Dental Relocation and Infrastructure Support Scheme, www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/work-st-driss, (last accessed 8 July 2016)