More than two thirds (69 per cent) of business owners are feeling optimistic about the business environment and finding new ways to address ongoing disruption from the pandemic, like skills shortages, according to research from Westpac.

The survey of more than 500 businesses found that more than a third (35 per cent) of business owners with talent gaps invested in upskilling existing employees instead of hiring externally, while a quarter (25 per cent) hired employees with different skill sets, which they wouldn’t have considered before. 

The survey also found one in eight (13 per cent) businesses with skills shortages started hiring employees to work remotely or from overseas to help attract talent.