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Access to, and use of, data on current and future workforce demand and supply is a critical building block of an efficient labour market and is a key enabler for the development of sectoral strategies.
Employers and workers need to know what employment opportunities are available and how to access quality, relevant training, to increase skill levels and productivity. Education providers and trainers need to know what skills will be required, workers need to know how to access the right training to increase their skills and productivity, and Government needs robust data on which to base its decisions.
Timely and granular data, including data focusing on gender, Indigenous Australians, and people with disability, will create transparency and facilitate a broader consideration of workforce needs across the Australian economy, both now and into the future. Data should also be disaggregated by location, to quantify the needs of regional Australia.
This also reflects commitments under the Closing the Gap Priority Reform 4 to share access to data.
This will enable a key aspect of the National Workforce Strategy – orchestrating workforce needs at the national level, while sectoral strategies align with its principles and bring a targeted focus to the needs of specific sectors.
A wide range of workforce-related data is available from across Government to support the development of sector-specific strategies and inform workforce action. It is important that datasets keep pace to reflect changes to the labour market, including new or emerging occupations.
The National Skills Commission plays a vital role in this process. The annual State of Australia’s Skills report provides detailed analysis of Australia’s current, emerging, and future workforce skills needs.
The National Skills Commission released the Nowcast of Employment by Region and Occupation (NERO) in July 2021 to provide timely information on employment in 355 occupations across 88 regions in Australia.
New and emerging datasets, such as Single Touch Payroll data, will help provide a deeper understanding of the current workforce.
Employment services caseload data also offers rich insights into potential workforce supply. Workforce Australia will harness these data using smart technology to greatly enhance the quality and speed of matching job seekers with employment and skilling opportunities.
Other important sources of workforce-related data include:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
- National Centre for Vocational Education Research
- Centre for Population
data.gov.au is the central source of Australian open government data, with over 30,000 publicly available datasets.
Sector-specific strategies must be soundly based on data to inform actions and, where required, supplemented with additional analysis of current and projected workforce demand.
Creating transparent real-time views of labour demand and supply at a micro-segment level will allow us to better inform policy, training, and skills matching. A robust forward view of demand should inform the overall workforce and skills strategy priorities.
Germany uses machine learning to better match job seekers with suitable employers, with a digital self-exploration tool to assess strengths and match with possible career options. Regular quantitative forecasting provides regional insights to industry, policy makers and local employment agencies