Where do we need to be in 2027?

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Australia will need to fill more than one million new jobs by November 2026. In 2021, the National Skills Commission forecast employment growth in regional Australia would account for around one-quarter of new jobs over the five years to November 2025.5 Nine out of ten jobs are projected to require post-secondary school qualifications.6 Given the expected strong demand for workers, and resilience of the Australian labour market, full employment is within reach.

For people wanting work, this presents a great opportunity if they have the right skills. However, it could also result in workforce shortages for some employers looking to grow their business and constrain economic growth if sufficient workers are not available or do not have the required skills to meet employers’ needs.

Australia is relatively well placed to respond to this challenge due to our highly educated population and relatively flexible labour market, but there is still room to improve our workforce utilisation and skills, reduce labour market frictions, and help more people into work, to grow the economy and improve our competitiveness.

If we are to capitalise on this opportunity, we must ensure our labour market is operating as efficiently as possible through:

  • Provision of reliable workforce data and forecasting to inform decisions by governments, businesses, and individuals.
  • Reducing skills mismatches by ensuring individuals can access quick, high quality education, and reskilling and upskilling opportunities.
  • Focusing employment assistance on those who need it most to get the skills and capabilities they need.
  • Addressing barriers preventing Australians from participating to their full potential and limiting labour force flexibility, including regional and occupational mobility.
  • Ensuring our migration program operates effectively and complements the domestic workforce.

The Australian Government cannot do this alone, with jurisdictions having an important role to play in improving the effectiveness of our skills and education systems.

Businesses must also commit to investing in their most important asset - their people - and help boost productivity, and individuals must embrace opportunities for education, upskilling and reskilling, to meet the changing needs of employers.

Australia will need to fill more than one million new jobs over the next five years

Nine out of every ten new jobs will need post-school qualifications

 

5 National Skills Commission, Employment Projections to November 2025

6 National Skills Commission, Employment Projections to November 2025