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The Australian Government commissioned Jobs and Skills Australia to undertake a capacity study on the workforce needs for Australia’s transition to a clean energy economy. The capacity study deepened our understanding of the clean energy sector by:
- clarifying what jobs and industries make up Australia’s clean energy workforce
- analysing different scenarios for how we could reach net zero by 2050, understanding how many workers will be needed (and where) and who will have the skills to take on those jobs
- exploring how the workforce opportunities created by clean energy can be shared across regions and with First Nations Australians, women, people with disability and Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- examining the possibilities for workers in emission intensive sectors to transition to new roles in their communities that will build on their existing skills and experience
- identifying the education, training and migration pathways that we should be developing, and the underlying system settings needed to enable those pathways.
A project steering group was established that included members from across industry, unions, training providers, state governments, research organisations and the Commonwealth.
The Clean Energy Generation: workforce needs for a net zero economy sets a baseline measure of Australia’s capacity to meet net zero by 2050, and the skills and training system reform needed to meet future workforce demands.
In an Australian first, the study establishes a definition of clean energy workforce, identifies 38 critical occupations and makes 50 recommendations to support achieving a net zero economy.
It also prioritises the economic need for women, First Nations people, people with disabilities, migrants and regional and remote communities to be included in opportunities provided by the transformation.
The Clean Energy Generation: workforce needs for a net zero economy is an important benchmark on which Australia’s skills, training, migration, industrial relations systems and workforce can be revitalised. Creating a more sustainable and equitable Australia, where the economic possibilities of a decarbonised economy can be realised.
Watch: Clean Energy Generation Report key findings
These presentations were recorded at Jobs and Skills Australia’s 2023 symposium.
Overview of the findings of The Clean Energy Generation: Workforce needs for a net zero economy
The first recording features Dr Damian Oliver, Assistant Secretary, Jobs and Skills Australia, who provides an overview of the findings of The Clean Energy Generation: Workforce needs for a net zero economy.
Panel discussion – workforce implications for the clean energy sector
Facilitated by Rebecca Atkinson, Deputy-Director General (strategy), Queensland Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training and includes James Chisolm (CEO, Net Zero Economy Agency), Claire Ibrahim (Partner, Deloitte Access Economics), Anthea Middleton (CEO, Powering Skills Australia) Professor Rod Sims AO (Chair, The Superpower Institute), Dr Anita Talberg (Director of Workforce Development, Clean Energy Council) and Michael Wright (National Secretary, Electrical Trades Union).
Panel discussion - Skills and training needs for the clean energy sector
Facilitated by Robert Griew, Director at Think Change Resolve and features panel members Jenny Dodd (CEF, TAFE Directors Australia), Professor Mark Hoffman (Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice-President, The University of Newcastle), Megan Lilly (Head of Education and Training, Ai Group), Liam O’Brien (Assistant Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions), Professor Mary O’Kane AC (Chair, Australian Universities Accord Panel) and Craig Robertston (CEO, Victorian Skills Authority).
Terms of Reference
The final Terms of Reference for the study were published on 4 April 2023 and incorporate feedback from state and territory governments, industry, unions and education and training sector.
Jobs and Skills Australia has published a discussion paper for consultation on 4 April 2023. The discussion paper and public submissions are available on the Clean Energy Capacity Study Consultation page.