Workforce Foundations

The National Workforce Strategy sets out six Workforce Foundations which support Australia’s workforce to build in-demand skills, help Australians find and keep work, and meet employers’ workforce needs.

On this page:

Recent Government initiatives to ease workforce pressures

The Australian Government has announced a number of new measures to address immediate workforce pressures. These measures focus on:

  • mobilising and skilling job seekers to boost the domestic workforce
  • supplementing the domestic labour force with migrants, including better utilising migrants in Australia and doubling the scale of Pacific labour schemes
  • making further investments in the Child Care Subsidy to increase workforce participation

Read more on the Higher Child Care Subsidy and removal of the annual cap


Each level of education, from early childhood to post-graduate study plays an important role in developing Australia’s workforce. Education reforms and initiatives include:

  • Support for the higher education sector to produce job-ready graduates
  • Pilot new models of learning in higher education, like the Industry 4.0 advanced apprenticeships and women in STEM cadetships
  • Focus on research commercialisation in Australian universities

Find out more about Australia’s higher education system

Skills and training system

The skills and training system is key to ensuring that the workforce has the skills necessary to meet current and emerging needs:

  • Reforms to the VET system outlined in the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform – notably includes a new intergovernmental agreement, currently under negotiation
  • Strengthened industry engagement through industry clusters
  • Improvements to the quality of VET delivery and qualifications
  • VET Data Streamlining – integrated programs of IT, data and legislative reform to move the VET sector to near real-time data collection

Get more information on the Skills and training system 

Learn about Skills Reform 

Employment services reform

Significant reform is underway for employment services to better meet the needs of employers and job seekers:

  • Support for employers and job seekers through the new employment service, Workforce Australia, with a greater focus on occupations in demand, help for people to train for the jobs of today and the future, and by strengthening job placements and long term employment outcomes, commencing in July 2022
  • New disability employment support model to replace the Disability Employment Services program in July 2023, which will be tailored to better meet the needs of people with disability and employers
  • New Remote Engagement Program and Indigenous Skills and Employment Program

Find out about employment services reform:

Targeted employment and skills programs

A number of targeted employment and skills programs are in place to support job seekers gain skills, participate in the jobs market and connect with meaningful employment:

For more information about targeted employment and skills programs:

Temporary and permanent migration

Australia's migration policy settings are designed to maximise economic prosperity, national wellbeing and social cohesion - including by helping businesses to source skills that are difficult to develop at short notice.

Learn more about Australia’s migration policy settings.

Workforce Foundations


The Workforce Foundations sets out the workforce programs and initiatives in place to help provide Australians with in-demand skills and support them to find and keep work.

National Workforce Strategy - Workforce Foundations_0.pdf