NSC’s tools support innovation in Skills Week

Echoing the theme of 2021 National Skills Week, the National Skills Commission is ‘rethinking skills’.

National Skills Commissioner Adam Boyton said, “A fundamental innovation in the NSC’s work is the focus on skills, alongside the more traditional analysis of the changing mix of occupations. The NSC has applied this skills focus both to analysing the present state of the labour market and examining what lies ahead.”

“At a practical level, our Australian Skills Classification (ASC) is a new analytical tool that maps the skills profiles for around 600 occupations,” Mr Boyton said.

The ASC details:

  • core competencies, which are common to all jobs and otherwise known as ‘employability skills’ or ‘foundational skills’. The ASC provides a consistent language and way to compare the level of competency across occupations using a 10-point scale
  • technology tools, such as software or hardware required in a job
  • specialist tasks, which are the activities a person undertakes specific to a job. Specialist tasks change more frequently than core competencies and are useful for differentiating occupations.

Groups of specialist tasks can be clustered together to form 279 skills clusters, which in turn group into 29 skills cluster families. Skills that are like one another are clustered together – so if you can do one task in a skills cluster, you are likely to be able to do the others. This enables a more systematic way of thinking about transferable skills, and allows us to determine how well someone’s skills, based on their past employment, might match current vacancies.

The NSC has also developed other new tools and techniques to help analyse the labour market. These include:

  • The Skills Priority List that outlines occupations in shortage and their expected future demand. Released in June 2021, the list assesses nearly 800 occupations, drawing on NSC data, surveys of employers and stakeholder engagement.
  • The Nowcast of Employment by Region and Occupation (NERO), is an experimental interactive monthly data set that provides timely information on employment in 355 occupations across 88 regions in Australia. Until now, this type of data was only available every 5 years.
  • Labour Market data dashboards covering all 51 employment regions in Australia as well as at the national, state and territory level. The dashboards bring together a range of data in the one place for the first time to provide a comprehensive picture of how a region’s jobs market is performing. It will allow users to quickly find key labour market data for their area of interest.