3.4 Education and training implications

Completing an education remains key

The Australian labour market has been progressively shifting towards higher skilled employment over recent decades. This trend seems likely to continue and is reflected across all the scenarios examined by the NSC. This result is consistent with pre-COVID-19 trends and emphasises the importance of post-school qualifications.

VET provides opportunities for those who are displaced in the short or medium term

The VET sector will be instrumental in supporting the recovery from COVID–19. VET offers an opportunity to gain both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that are valued by employers. A VET qualification can provide the pathway for displaced workers, or those at risk of being displaced, to either move into higher skilled roles in the same industry or transition to new jobs in sectors with stronger growth potential. There are some VET related occupations that are expected to be more resilient than others, with relatively strong projected growth over both the short and medium term. This is consistent with longer term trends, including personal carers, health and welfare support workers, child carers and education aides.

Others are projected to perform poorly in the short term but are expected to bounce back over time. For example, hospitality workers, food trades workers and ICT telecommunications technicians. These provide potential opportunities for short term reskilling especially for those looking to retrain in a new occupation or upskill in their existing occupation through qualifications lasting 6–18 months.