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Getting Skills Right: Australia

image of Getting Skills Right: Australia

The costs of persistent misalignment between the supply and demand for skills are substantial, ranging from lost wages for workers to lower productivity for firms and countries. Addressing skills imbalances has become a pressing priority as OECD governments reflect on the implications of technological progress, digitalisation, demographic change and globalisation for jobs and work organisation. In light of these challenges, the OECD has undertaken new research to shed light on how countries measure changing skill needs while ensuring that employment, training and migration institutions are responsive to the emergence of new skill requirements. The Getting Skills Right in Australia review offers an in-depth analysis of the existing skill assessment and anticipation system in Australia, and makes recommendations for how it could be further improved. In addition to providing a summary of the state of skill imbalances in Australia, the report provides an assessment of practices in the following areas: i) the collection of information on existing and future skill needs; ii) the use of skill needs information to guide policy development in the areas of employment, education and training, and migration; and iii) the effectiveness of governance arrangements in ensuring strong co-ordination among key stakeholders in the collection and use of skill needs information.

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Foreword

Digitalisation, globalisation and demographic change are challenging the adequacy of labour market and training policies to ensure that workers have the skills needed in the labour market. In most countries, many employers complain that they cannot find workers with the skills that their businesses require. At the same time, a number of graduates face difficulties in finding job opportunities matching their qualifications. In light of these challenges, the OECD has launched a new programme of work on how to achieve a better alignment between the skills people acquire and those needed by employers, with a focus on: i) understanding how countries collect and use information on skill needs; ii) investigating cost-effective training and labour market policies to tackle skill mismatch and shortages; iii) studying the incentives of training providers and participants to respond to changing skill needs; and iv) setting up a database of skill needs indicators. This work builds on the extensive programme of work of the OECD in the area of skills, including the OECD Skill Strategy and its follow up national studies, the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) and its rich analytical programme, and several studies in the areas of skills mismatch, vocational education and training, and work-based learning.

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