Santa school is open for festive fans but recruiters are reporting a shortage in Santa applicants, threatening to leave shopping centre thrones empty and wish lists unread. The ACT needs at least 10 more Santas to don the big red suit and help spread magic this Christmas. It's the unthinkable. Thousands of children are set to turn up to shopping centres to put in their Christmas requests only to find unhappy elves and empty chairs. We're in a Santa Claus drought in the capital and a company behind our shopping mall Santas, Scene to Believe, is advertising the job on its website. It's a job suited to men with a "grandfatherly" personality, a love of children and excellent acting skills, according to Scene to Believe's head Christmas recruiter Viviana Diaz. "We opened applications last week and Canberra has been really low on applicants, we really need more Santas to fill up the shopping centres in Canberra this Christmas," Ms Diaz said. Over the last three years, there have been fewer people applying for the top job, but with life returning to normal Ms Diaz said it was the casual job to boost budgets ahead of Christmas. There is no ideal age, according to Ms Diaz - she manages hundreds of Santas nationally ranging in age from 20 to 95. Santa candidates must have a current working with children check, knowledge of current toy trends and a reasonable level of physical fitness (the role can be quite demanding). "Some people don't apply because they don't have a big belly or a long beard, you don't need that, we're looking for the personality and we provide a professional suit," Ms Diaz said. READ MORE: All potential Santa candidates need to do is apply for the role on the Scene to Believe website and if successful, you will complete a day-long online training session before parading in shopping centres and making children's wishes come true. Long-time Canberra shopping mall Santa Dallas Atkins, who played the role at Westfield malls around Canberra, said playing Santa brings a smile to children's faces. Playing Santa for Mr Atkins in the most rewarding job. With the current cost-of-living crisis, this Christmas is set to be a tough holiday for many families. "I've always had a heart to teach young children to be good people when they grow up. My lesson this year when I speak to children is to love, learn and listen," Mr Atkins said. Playing Santa is also a tough gig, there's a heavy suit, meeting daily photographers and being consistently jolly for up to 10 hours a day. It gets easier once you're in a shopping centre with air-conditioning, Mr Atkins said. "You need some basic level of fitness to stay active with the kids, but most of the time you're sitting in a chair so it's not a tough job," he said. Mr Atkins said they were also in need of elves. For people that are on the younger side they can also apply to play as elves and assist in baking cookies and preparing Santa's sleigh. The best part of the job is playing Santa for pets. "You get to meet some amazing animals, I had two Great Danes last year side by side, I felt like I was in Game of Thrones," Mr Atkins said. Deaf and hard of hearing children and their families will be able to communicate in their language to an Auslan-fluent Santa at Westfield Woden and Westfield Belconnen. Jen Blyth, Deaf Australia chief executive officer, grew up with deaf parents and wishes this was something she had as a child.