Jobs and Skills Australia releases inaugural Jobs and Skills Report

This story was first published on Wednesday 4 October 2023.

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Jobs and Skills Australia has released its inaugural Jobs and Skills Report, Towards a national jobs and skills roadmap, providing an assessment of the dynamics of Australia's current job and skills landscape.

The report highlights that although Australia's labour market has reached new heights of strength, with low unemployment rates and a record-high participation in the workforce, beneath these successes lie significant challenges that demand immediate attention.

One of the central findings of the report is the persistent and elevated skills shortages across various sectors. In 2023, 36% of occupations have been identified as being in shortage, marking a 5% increase from the previous year. These shortages are multifaceted, stemming from a range of underlying factors.

Technicians and Trades Workers face the most severe shortages, with 50% of occupations in this category being in shortage nationally. This group plays a pivotal role in shaping Australia's future, especially in the context of clean energy transformation and the transition to a net-zero future.

The report emphasises that addressing these shortages requires a focused and coordinated effort across the national skill system. It calls for collaboration between vocational and higher education sectors, industry stakeholders, and an efficient migration system. Immediate action is imperative because many of Australia's future skills needs are within occupations currently experiencing shortages.

The report calls for the need for a well-functioning national skills system supported by accurate data and comprehensive assessments and marks the first step in this critical journey, providing valuable insights into the state of the labour market.

Looking ahead, Jobs and Skills Australia is embarking on a collaborative journey to develop a national jobs and skills roadmap in partnership with industry stakeholders, Jobs and Skills Councils, education and training sectors, states and territories, and Australian Government agencies. This roadmap will aim to bring together the range of systems to deliver a skilled workforce to meet both current and future demands.

As Australia navigates the challenges and opportunities in its labour market, this report serves as a resource and guide for policymakers, businesses, and individuals invested in our jobs and skills outlook.