Commissioner’s foreword

Adam Boyton image

Skills are widely recognised as the new currency of workforce development; however, skills data can lag workforce needs. 

The National Skills Commission (NSC) has now released the beta version of its new Australian Skills Classification as an interactive online interface.

While training packages, industry and private sector organisations have defined specific skill sets, there was not a consistent framework to identify and measure skills across the board.

Instead, education levels, qualifications and occupations are generally used as proxies for skill levels. This means recognising the importance of individual occupations, qualifications, and skills, but lacking an understanding of how bundles of skills combine within occupations across the labour market. 

The Australian Skills Classification systematically sets out the structure of, and relationships between, skills within occupations and across the labour market. As a pillar of the NSC’s Jobs and Education Data Infrastructure (JEDI) project, it represents an important step in the NSC’s broader work to develop an economy-wide skills analysis and apply this information to help improve the operation of the labour market and the vocational education and training system

This paper provides the context for the first release of the Australian Skills Classification. The NSC is seeking feedback to help improve subsequent updates and ensure it remains relevant to the current and changing Australian context.

The NSC is also interested in exploring the possible broader opportunities and applications of this data driven resource, which can improve our understanding of skills, how they work together and transfer across occupations.

The Australian Skills Classification has the potential to significantly assist the entire skills system, including those who ultimately will benefit the most from an improved understanding of both current and emerging skills needs – students, workers and job seekers.

I look forward to reviewing the feedback on this important development.

Adam Boyton

National Skills Commissioner