No Frills 2023: Skilling Australia’s current and future workforce

Media release

12 July 2023

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has today released the official discussion paper for the 32nd National Vocational Education and Training (VET) Research Conference ‘No Frills’.

The paper explores this year’s conference theme, Skilling Australia’s current and future workforce, with a focus on the VET sector’s resilience and capacity to adapt to unexpected events quickly and efficiently.

NCVER Managing Director Simon Walker said, “In recent years, the VET sector has faced rapid socioeconomic, demographic and technological change. Following unexpected events such as COVID-19, the sector quickly adapted by upskilling workplaces, registered training organisations, and VET trainers in digital and remote working methods.”

“At this year’s conference, we will explore why resilience is needed for the VET sector and Australia’s future workforce, and how the sector can continue to respond to skills demands during times of disruption and rapid change”.

‘No Frills’ will gather VET practitioners, industry experts, and leading researchers from across Australia and the globe to explore a range of topics relevant to the VET sector and Australia’s workforce. Topics will include digital transformation, agile skill development, and skilling diverse workers and equity groups.

The massive three-day program will include presentations from two distinguished keynote speakers, a Ministerial address, 40 concurrent presentations, four pre-conference professional development workshops, an interactive discussion panel, several networking opportunities, and a conference dinner at the Old Melbourne Gaol. Special guests include Professor Peter Dawkins AO, Interim Director, Jobs and Skills Australia; and Ms Danielle Wood, CEO of the Grattan Institute.

NCVER Managing Director Simon Walker said, “This year, we are pleased to partner with RMIT University and to hold the conference in-person once again. ‘No Frills’ is a fantastic opportunity for anyone wanting to hear about the latest research and how it is supporting policy and practice in Australia’s VET sector.”

RMIT Deputy Vice Chancellor (Vocational Education) and Vice President Mish Eastman said that RMIT is committed to shaping a skilled and adaptable workforce for Australia's future.

“We recognise the critical role of vocational education in skilling our current and future workforce. By challenging outdated perceptions and celebrating the diverse opportunities it offers, we are working to transform vocational education into a pathway that leads to fulfilling and impactful careers. Together with industry, we're reshaping the narrative and driving the evolution of vocational education towards a prosperous and inclusive future."

‘No Frills’ will be hosted at RMIT University’s Melbourne City campus from Wednesday 19 July to Friday 21 July 2023. For more information, visit

Download the discussion paper: Skilling Australia's current and future workforce

Enquiries and interviews: Chantal Deutrom P: +61 8 8230 8418 E:

About NCVER: we are the main provider of research, statistics and data on Australia’s VET sector. Our services help promote better understanding of VET and assist policy makers, practitioners, industry, training providers, and students to make informed decisions.

This work has been produced by NCVER on behalf of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, with funding provided through the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.