The Business Council of Australia is tipping a wages blowout as employers face a desperate shortage of skilled workers.
The shortage has spread from the mining sector to other technical sectors, especially communications, council president Graham Bradley warns.
Business fears a 30 per cent wages surge in the West Australian mining sector could lead to a broader wages blowout.
'We believe it is,' Mr Bradley told ABC Radio on Wednesday.
'The skills shortage that we had two years ago before the global financial crisis is back with us.'
Many of the council's members were reporting an inability to hire 'literally thousands' of skilled workers.
'It's now in the communications sector with the national broadband network causing a lot of wage pressure on engineers,' Mr Bradley said, adding the shortage also was carrying over into the health and education sectors.
The council believed Australia had under-invested in skills and training which had to be a part of future population policy.
'In the meantime we would be denying ourselves some great growth opportunities driven by the vibrancy of the regional economy here if we didn't import the skills we need,' Mr Bradley said.