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Gap widening between education and skills demand

Media release  ·  10 October 2014

The gap is widening between knowledge generated through Australia’s training system, and the skills demanded by employers. This is one of the key messages in a new report that investigates five growth industries, and the role education and training play in providing people with the right skills to meet future demand.

Readiness to meet demand for skills: a study of five growth industries was prepared by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) on behalf of the Department of Industry.

The five industries considered as either experiencing growth, or with the potential for growth are food and agriculture; biotechnology and pharmaceuticals; advanced manufacturing; mining equipment, technology and services (METS); and oil and gas.

Rod Camm, Managing Director NCVER said “Greater collaboration is needed to overcome the constraints within both industry, and the education system that are impacting our ability to meet the skills demand. A shift is needed in the way we think about how skills are generated.”

“The widening gap between education and skills demand highlights the crucial role of employers in developing a skilled workforce. Employers and training providers must work in partnership to foster workplace learning opportunities and ongoing professional development”.

The report also highlights the need for:

  • funding policies for education and training which support continuing professional development
  • improvements to the role formal education plays in fostering sound generic and foundation skills
  • a priority focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including the development of  workplace skills in STEM undergraduate or research degrees and opportunities for continuing professional development in STEM disciplines.

Readiness to meet demand for skills: a study of five growth industries is available from www.ncver.edu.au/publications/2759.html

Media contact: Rebecca Farrell, T: 08 8230 8418 M: 0407 608 409