Australia getting it right on skills assessments

A highlighter highlighting the word 'skills'

This story was first published on Thursday 13 September 2018. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has commended Australia for producing reliable information about the labour market and using that information to shape policies and reduce skills imbalances.

The report, ‘Getting Skills Right: Australia’, notes that skills imbalances in Australia are currently on par with the global average and are low relative to their peak in 2007.

The report offers an in-depth analysis of the existing skills assessment methodologies in Australia and the way we anticipate skills shortages. It also identifies options to more effectively use this information to tackle potential future skills imbalances.

The report highlights the strength and quality of skills shortage research conducted by the Department of Jobs and Small Business, outlining the wealth of information produced that is used by employers, business, researchers, workers, students and government.

The OECD recognised the significant steps the Australian Government has taken in vocational education and training, identifying the My Skills website, the Skilling Australians Fund and the COAG Industry Skills Committee as good examples of skills policies.

It also identified some of the department’s highly regarded publications and resources, such as:

Among the OECD’s recommendations in the report, it suggested:

  • Applying skills clustering techniques to identify skills with a high degree of transferability to facilitate career transitions in the context of structural adjustment.
  • Facilitating use of skills shortages information by potential students, trainees and job seekers, by centralising existing information and data into a single online platform. Offering regular training sessions for teachers, career counsellors, and employment service providers to receive updated information about the requirements of the labour market.
  • Providing a sense of how well current skills shortages information reaches end users, pursue evaluation efforts to assess the quality and quantity of information that is provided to students, workers and job seekers.

The findings of this report will help strengthen skill assessment and anticipation exercises, assisting the department to identify, develop and implement ways to support job seekers to meet the skills requirements of employers in the changing jobs market.

Read the Getting Skills Right: Australia report on the OECD website.

Correct at time of publication.