Australian Skills Classification
Intended to be a 'common language' for skills, the Australian Skills Classification (the Classification) explores the connections between skills and jobs. The Classification identifies three categories of skills for Australian occupations:
- 10 core competencies common to all jobs to varying degrees of proficiency
- specialist tasks that describe the day-to-day work within an occupation
- technology tools – software and hardware used in an occupation.
The Classification also groups similar skills together into skills clusters, allowing the Classification to be explored through the lens of similar skills as well as through the lens of occupations.
Core competencies are common to all jobs. They describe a set of non-specialist skills gained through schooling and life experience, which provide a base to further develop skills and specialties. Currently there are different popular terms for core competencies, including ‘employability skills’, ‘foundation skills’ and ‘core skills’.
Our Classification identifies 10 core competencies common to every occupation in Australia. These core competencies align to the definitions of foundation skills typically used in the Australian VET system, specifically the Employability Skills Framework, developed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority, with minor differences recommended by education system experts.
Core competency values
The 10 core competencies are required in every occupation across the whole labour market, but different occupations require different levels of proficiency in the core competencies. The Classification uses a 10-point scale to describe the required proficiency for each core competency for each occupation, and each value has a corresponding description to help explain what this numerical value means in practice. These definitions are general and not specific to occupations.
Specialist tasks describe day-to-day work within an occupation. While specialist tasks can be transferable across occupations and sectors, unlike core competencies they are not universal. Specialist tasks are useful for differentiating occupations.
The Classification can show where another occupation utilises the same specialist task, however, this should not be taken as a measure of overall similarity or direct transferability between those roles.
Technology tools are technology, such as hardware and software, used within an occupation. Understanding the technology used within an occupation can help us to gain a more fulsome understanding of the skills required to undertake a job beyond day-to-day tasks.
The Classification describes software, hardware and equipment types or categories used within occupations rather than specific packages or products.
Common technology tools, such as search engines and email, are featured across most occupations. The remaining technology tools are highly specialised and occupation-specific, such as computer-aided design and carbon monoxide analysing equipment.
Skills clusters show clusters of similar specialist tasks. These tasks are broadly transferable – if you can do one task in the cluster, you can likely do the others.
Skills clusters illustrate a new way of looking at the labour market at a ‘deeper’ level than occupational classifications or qualifications. This view shows how skills are related and connected to one another without consideration of the occupations they are connected to. By doing so, it provides a new way to explore skills transferability.
While these tasks are broadly transferable, this should not be taken as a measure of overall similarity or direct transferability between occupations that utilise these skills. Further, skills clusters do not take into account qualifications, registration or licencing required to undertake certain tasks.
We are committed to continuous improvement based on stakeholder feedback. If you would like to contact the NSC directly about the Australian Skills Classification, or have additional questions about the methodology, licensing or usage, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.