Financial Incentives to Promote Adult Learning in Australia

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Australia requires a strong system of adult learning to position firms and workers to succeed as skill demand changes. The country has scope to improve the coverage and inclusiveness of its adult learning system as coverage has declined since 2012, and several vulnerable groups are under-represented. Financial incentives, if carefully designed, can raise participation in adult learning by addressing cost and time barriers. This report summarises the advantages and disadvantages with various financial incentives to promote adult learning based on international and Australian experience. Drawing from these insights, as well as analysis of individual and firm-level barriers, the report provides policy recommendations for how Australia could reform its financial incentives to boost participation.


Feasibility of policy options to promote adult learning in Australia

This chapter identifies strengths and weaknesses in Australia’s current set of financial incentives to support participation in adult learning. It compares policy options based on their capacity to support transitions to new occupations, to expand participation in adult learning, to steer training to in-demand skills, as well as cost and governance considerations. The chapter concludes by suggesting actions Australia could take to improve participation in adult learning with a focus on financial incentives.


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