JobTrainer and the NSC

Identifying Australia’s most resilient occupations

The JobTrainer Fund will provide up to 340,000 additional training places that are free or low fee, in areas of identified skills need for job seekers and young people.

Funding will be available for accredited qualifications and short courses in areas of identified and genuine skills need, based on a list agreed between the National Skills Commission (NSC) and state and territory governments.

Labour market analysis by the NSC informed engagements with state and territory governments to determine which qualifications and short courses to prioritise in their jurisdictions. The NSC used data analysis and intelligence to identify occupations that have been resilient through the COVID-19 pandemic and determine areas of future skills needs.

Ultimately, the decision on which courses to fund and in what volume is a matter for state and territory governments. Information on courses subsidised by each state and territory under the JobTrainer Fund will be published on the My Skills website.

The lists will remain live and will be refreshed as we respond to the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market.

How the NSC identified qualifications linked to occupations in demand

The NSC initially identified qualifications for the JobTrainer Fund by:

1. measuring occupational resilience and recovery and

2. mapping resilient occupations to VET qualifications.

Measuring occupational resilience and recovery

We combined data on employment growth expectations before COVID-19 with data relating to the employment experience of occupations during COVID-19 and early indications of recovery.

We looked at pre-COVID-19 expectations and ranked occupations according to the most recent employment projections (five years to May 2024).

We also measured the impact of COVID-19 on each occupation, using quarterly ABS Labour Force Survey data and the NSC’s Internet Vacancy Index. Occupations that experienced the largest declines in employment, hours worked and jobs advertised were ranked lowest.

In addition, we examined the extent to which occupations have recovered from the impact of COVID-19. Occupations with the highest rate of growth, or lowest rate of decline in job advertisements were ranked highest (and vice-versa).

These data were then summarised into a single ranking of occupations indicating their current employment growth prospects or occupational resilience.  Finally, a ‘migration’ flag was included to identify occupations that employ relatively more recent migrants and temporary residents that may experience supply constraints as Australia’s border remains closed.

Additional intelligence

The NSC is modelling different scenarios to understand what could happen to jobs in the short- and medium-term. Preliminary results of this scenario modelling will be applied to our list of resilient occupations to further support recovery over the coming years.

Identifying qualifications

Our final step was to identify the VET qualifications linked to resilient occupations and areas of demand.

We applied qualification to occupation mapping, drawing on the NSC’s Jobs and Education Data Infrastructure (JEDI) project to those occupations where a VET pathway is possible.

JEDI enabled us to identify qualifications that teach skills linked to the occupations we had identified. We then ranked the qualifications based on the similarity between the skills required by jobs and the skills taught by qualifications.


Our analysis was complemented by preliminary consultation with key industry, education and provider representative and peak bodies, through the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s VET Stakeholder Committee. This helped ensure our technical methodology was supplemented with their input and tailored to the varying skills needs across jurisdictions.

Engagement with the states and territories

An initial list of proposed courses for consideration was sent to the states and territories to start discussions. All states and territories responded indicating their agreement to some of the courses proposed for inclusion and suggested a range of additional courses for consideration. These suggestions were based on factors such as: state government priority areas for industry and economic development and input from local stakeholder consultation.

In general, the NSC has agreed these proposals based on analysis provided by the states.

The NSC has agreed to keep the lists of JobTrainer courses under review and will update the lists as new information comes to light, including proposals from the states and territories.

To view the list of courses in your state or territory, visit