Improving skills for the future

It is widely recognised that Australians are living through a time where the pace and scale of change is unprecedented.

We have an ageing population, global competition between countries and companies, a growing Asian middle-class, changes in technology, changing patterns in how people and organisations work, and empowerment of consumers.

Nobody can predict with certainty the impact these changes will have, but we can be sure that almost every single job will be different; some sectors will be severely disrupted.

Against these forces of change, Australia needs to protect its people by ensuring we have the most skilled, the most trained, and the most resilient workforce on earth.

The education and skills system is the key to preparing Australians for this new world because it enables people to upskill and reskill throughout their working lives, so they can adapt and be resilient to changing labour market conditions.

The Skills for the Future policy agenda is focussed on creating an education and skills system − schools, vocational education and training and higher education – that is up to this challenge by advocating for reforms to:

  • create a culture of lifelong learning
  • foster a new culture in schools, which better caters for different types of learners and embraces new styles of teaching and learning
  • help ensure schools are equipping young people with a strong foundation for further learning or work
  • support graduates entering the labour market to become work ready
  • increase the market information available to support learners to make decisions about post-school pathways and training options
  • reform the tertiary system so vocational education and training and higher education are valued equally, and current funding distortions are removed.