Three pivotal reports identifying Australia’s current, emerging and future skills needs, and how the national skills system is meeting these needs, have been released by Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA).
JSA’s first capacity study - The Clean Energy Generation: workforce needs for a net zero economy, has been released. The report provides important analysis to support Australia’s transformation to net zero.
The latest Skills Priority List shows that 36% of the occupations assessed are in shortage, with Technicians and Trade Workers, and Professional occupations (health, engineering, information communication technology (ICT) and science roles) having the highest shortages, particularly in regional and remote areas.
Bringing it all together, the Jobs and Skills Report, Towards a national jobs and skills roadmap provides an initial assessment of current and future skills needs and opportunities for the national skills system.
Acting Commissioner of Jobs and Skills Australia, Professor Peter Dawkins AO said these three reports were priorities for JSA in its inaugural year to help realise the full skills potential of Australia, resulting in improved workforce participation, productivity, wages and equity.
“The Clean Energy Capacity Study into Australia’s clean energy workforce is vital to provide better analysis of the skills needed to support the clean energy transformation,” Professor Dawkins said.
“Looking forward over the next three decades the transition to net zero emissions will present further skills challenges, including for occupations already in significant shortage, such as electricians.
“Reaching net zero by 2050 will require a workforce transformation in Australia that is substantial but not unprecedented.
“The report includes recommendations which focus on harnessing knowledge from industry, education and training providers to build more pathways into trades and professions, as well as helping workers transition from other sectors by recognising microcredentials, and other types of training.”
“The latest annual Skills Priority List provides a current assessment of the Australian labour market, including a detailed view of occupations in shortage and the anticipated future demand for occupations.
“Australia is experiencing widespread skill shortages, the like of which we have not seen since the 1960s. “The most recent list shows that technicians and trade workers, and professional occupations (health, engineering, information communication technology (ICT) and science roles) have the highest shortages, particularly in regional and remote areas.
“It shows that 36% of occupations assessed are in shortage - up from 31% last year.
“The increases over the last 3 years are being driven by the continued tightness in labour market conditions.
“While underlying drivers of shortages can vary across occupations, it is anticipated that these shortages reflect either a lack of people who have the essential technical skills or other (non-technical) qualities that employers consider are important; or those with the right technical skills and other qualities who aren’t willing to apply for the vacancies under current pay and working conditions.
“As evident by these reports, our labour market is facing widespread and elevated skills shortages.
“We are seeing low levels of unemployment and high participation rates, and with the strong labour market brings considerable challenges.
“Significant action will be required to address Australia’s current skills needs – these are multifaceted with different underlying reasons.
“A focused and coordinated effort across the national skill system is required to retain the strong labour market gains of recent years and ensure Australians are equipped with the knowledge, skills and capabilities needed for today and tomorrow.
“To meet Australia’s current and future skills and workforce needs, we need a well-functioning and joined-up national skills system, informed by the best available data and the on-the-ground intelligence from participants in the system.
“A well-functioning national skills system also needs robust assessment of how well the national skills system is meeting those needs.
“This is the fundamental role of Jobs and Skills Australia.”
“The Jobs and Skills Report lays the groundwork towards a national jobs and skills roadmap to be developed over the coming year in collaboration with industry, Jobs and Skills Councils, education and training sectors, the states and territories, and Australian Government agencies.
“The roadmap will seek to chart milestones and deliverables across the national skills system to enable Australia to deliver skilled workers to meet current and future needs.”
The reports can be found at jobsandskills.gov.au