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Engaging Employers and Developing Skills at the Local Level in Australia

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Local vocational education and training programmes serve as a valuable educational pathway to improve the transition from school to work. Within the VET system, quality apprenticeship programmes can provide employers with a skilled workforce that is more agile in a rapidly evolving global economy while also supporting new employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups.

This report focuses on how to better engage employers in apprenticeship and other work-based skills development programmes aligned with growing sectors of the local economy. A key part of this report was the implementation of an employer-based survey, which gathered information from over 300 Australian employers about their skills needs and barriers to apprenticeship participation. The report also provides information on four case studies, including Sydney Metro and STEMship in New South Wales, Collective Education in Tasmania, and the Dream, Believe, Achieve programme in Queensland. The case studies demonstrate how local organisations are building stronger business-education partnerships.

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Recent labour market and skills trends at the regional level in Australia

This chapter provides an overview of recent labour market and skills trends in Australia. The Australian economy has experienced steady growth in overall productivity levels over the past ten years. The unemployment rate is lower than the OECD average. With a low unemployment rate, about 34% of Australian employers find it challenging to fill in vacancies, particularly for skilled trade positions. A similar pattern holds true for skill shortages across all states and territories. According to the Internet Vacancy Index, over the past five years, job advertisements have increased by 31% nationally (in trend terms).

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