National Workforce Strategy

Vision: Australia has a dynamic, responsive and capable workforce that meets the needs of employers now and into the future, to drive employment, economic growth, productivity and prosperity.

On this page:

National Workforce Strategy Overview


A downloadable and printable version of an infographic describing the National Workforce Strategy.

National Workforce Strategy - Overview_0.pdf


Use Data

Use data to create transparency and drive Government action


Decisions and actions are informed by data, with sectoral workforce strategies including detailed data analysis of workforce needs along with digital and data-driven solutions.

APS Actions

Draw on data to understand workforce needs and issues, and measure and report outcomes from training and employment services to drive performance and transparency.

Skill Australians

Equip workers with in-demand skills and focus employment services on employment outcomes


Australians can access high quality education and training to gain in-demand and transferable skills and benefit from lifelong learning. Employment services are outcomesfocused and informed by high quality data on local employer needs.

APS Actions

Utilise skills and employment services reform to identify occupations in demand, help people train for the jobs of today and the future, and strengthen employment services job placements.

Remove Barriers

Remove barriers and disincentives to work


All Australians, including those under-represented, can participate and work to their full capacity in line with their abilities and aspirations.

APS Actions

Encourage workforce participation and prevent drop-out by removing barriers to participation, enabling geographic mobility, and providing employment incentives.

Activate Industry

Activate industry to design and drive change


Industry has a lead role in workforce development, identifying their needs and addressing them through training, upskilling and reskilling staff, establishing attractive career pathways, and incentivising them to take up jobs.

APS Actions

Engage industry in the design and delivery of policy and support them to play a key role in training and reskilling. Support employers to drive workplace flexibility, diversity and cultural change.

Target Migration

Target migration to fill skills and labour gaps


A migration system that complements the changing needs of the Australian labour market to fill skills and labour gaps.

APS Actions

Target migrant workers to meet labour market needs through skilled migration occupation lists and criteria for temporary visa holders.


The National Workforce Strategy will provide a framework for Government to ensure sector-specific workforce plans activate industry to drive change, enable and equip Australians to take up available work, remove barriers to participation, use migration to complement the domestic workforce, and are data-driven.

Critical Enablers

National Skills Commission: Provides expert advice and national leadership on Australia’s labour market, current, emerging and future workforce needs and plays an important role in simplifying and strengthening Australia’s training system. 

National Careers Institute: Provides Australians with accurate and authoritative information about career pathways and employment prospects. 

Workforce Australia: improve job matching through better digital technology, focuses resources on those who need more help to find and keep employment, while engaging more closely with businesses to help secure the workers they need. 

Skills Reform: Strengthens Australia’s VET system and improve the quality, relevance and accessibility of training so Australians develop the skills needed by Australian businesses. 

Australian Skills Quality Authority: Ensure the skills sector’s quality is maintained through effective regulation, and ensure employers, the community, students and governments have confidence in national qualifications. 

National Workforce Taskforce: Provides a clear picture of Australia’s workforce, and works with agencies to develop individual data-driven workforce strategies which address labor market and industry needs.

The National Workforce Strategy will ensure a consistent, coordinated approach to addressing workforce issues

Looking forward, we need to do better. A more holistic consideration of workforce policy settings, and the linkages between them, will better position the nation to address the workforce challenges it faces now and into the future.

The National Workforce Strategy will sit at the centre of the new workforce policy environment. It will ensure a more coordinated and consistent approach to addressing workforce issues through providing a consistent overarching framework to guide the development of workforce policy going forward.

Given the ever-changing environment, the National Workforce Strategy does not take a prescriptive route – rather it identifies five key principles to guide Government action. Pursuing these principles will benefit Australia’s economy and workforce, irrespective of changes in the broader economic environment.

National Workforce Strategy Principles

To ensure a coordinated and consistent focus when addressing workforce issues critical to Australia’s prosperity, five principles will guide Australian Government actions

Principle 1

Use data to create transparency of the current and future workforce — to inform decisions by individuals and business and underpin Government action.

Principle 2

Equip Australians with in-demand skills and focus employment services on outcomes — to reduce skills mismatches, increase productivity and boost domestic employment.

Principle 3

Remove barriers and disincentives to work — to increase workforce participation and opportunities.

Principle 4

Activate industry to design and drive change — to take ownership of and actively engage in meeting their workforce needs.

Principle 5

Target migration to fill skills and labour gaps — to ensure workforce shortages do not constrain economic growth.