Report unveils a workforce for Australia's future

Group of workers with different occupations
© Robert Churchill | iStock

A highly skilled and adaptable workforce will ensure that Australia remains globally competitive, according to a new report released by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA).

The report, entitled Future focus, 2013 National Workforce Development Strategy, presents a series of key recommendations on how Australia can develop its knowledge economy and workforce to meet current and future needs.

With an additional 3.5 million people expected to enter the workforce by 2025, the report projects a growing need for higher-level qualifications.

‘Improving our skills and increasing our productivity will be vital in sustaining Australia’s economic growth and prosperity’, says AWPA chair, Philip Bullock. By 2025, more than 70 per cent of Australia’s workforce will have post-school qualifications, and three out of five new jobs will be technical, professional or managerial.

‘Economic restructuring will continue, maybe at an even faster pace, hence a critical element will be Australians having the skills they need to adapt to the change and transitions which occur. It will also be critical that those on the margins have access to new skills so they can re-integrate into the workforce. None of this is easy, however Australia has a solid base upon which we can build’, says Bullock.

In light of the research findings, the Future focus, 2013 National Workforce Development Strategy report has set forth a series of recommendations, including:

  • Increasing the pool of tertiary qualifications by three per cent per annum
  • Enhancing access to government funding for workplace training and development
  • Lifting workforce participation rates by adopting a range of measures to better include marginal workers
  • Sustained focus on improving national language, literacy and numeracy levels
  • Continuing to lift the quality of the tertiary sector, by introducing external assessment of selected VET courses

‘By adopting these recommendations, Australia will be making an investment in skills which will better enable us to prepare for the future. In a fiscally constrained environment, we believe that the benefits of this investment will far outweigh the cost’, says Bullock.

For further information, or to download the full report, visit the AWPA website:

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