2.4 Occupation profiles

Occupation profiles are a new source of information about jobs and skills, providing detailed and up to date insights not necessarily reflected in aggregate data or broader labour market trends.

About occupation profiles  

These profiles highlight key skills attached to an occupation. Organisational or sector-specific taxonomies often include granular-level profiles. However, fine detail in an economy-wide skills classification emphasises the differences between occupations. 

The Australian Skills Classification has a different purpose – to reveal the connections between occupations at the level of skills. 

This does not mean that occupations with similar skills profiles must be very similar. They might require different knowledge, qualifications, credentials or other qualities not captured by the Australian Skills Classification.  

Instead, occupation profiles reveal that even different occupations can share common and transferable skills. By providing a shared understanding of skills transferability, occupation profiles can make skills more easily transferable in practice. 

Wider applications 

Over time, using this new common language can improve cross-sectoral communication about skill needs and thus improve the coordination of workforce development – in particular, by providing a means to more closely align education and training with the skills needs of employers.   

This new capacity can also bring greater flexibility to the operation of the labour market. By clearly defining transferable skills and skills gaps, occupation profiles can allow for the development of innovative targeted skills initiatives and new career pathways. 

Skills based recruitment 

Broad adoption of this skills classification can have network effects: when one person uses the occupation profiles, it creates value for others. For example: 

  • Employers can develop skills-based advertisements more efficiently, which helps job seekers more clearly understand their skill needs and promote their skills in language employers recognise. 
  • Job seekers can describe their full range of skills, including relevant skills picked up through work experience as well as formal education and training. This can assist employers to consider a wider range of candidates and employ people with the right skill sets.

Potentially this capability may improve job matching and help reduce the time and cost of filling vacancies.

Occupation profiles could also assist employers to identify jobs where it might be appropriate to hire for competencies rather than using higher education levels as proxies for skills. A follow-on effect from this could be the broader social and economic benefits derived from expanding possibilities for job seekers from underrepresented groups to take up occupations or industries they may not otherwise consider.

Benchmarking

Occupation profiles can serve as a benchmarking tool – a source of comparison businesses can use to identify differences in what skills they require from someone doing the same job in another business. 

Research and analysis 

Occupation profiles can also contribute to a more informed public debate about how Australian jobs are performed, whether this is changing and what this means for our current and future skills needs at a more detailed and practical level.  

Subsequent releases of the Australian Skills Classification will include emerging occupations. In the future these additional occupation profiles could provide insights into whether new jobs in the Australian labour market involve new skills or simply new combinations of skills.