"Ai Group welcomes the release today of the inaugural Jobs and Skills Report by Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA). The report is a key document for Australia as JSA strives to create a plan which unlocks the potential of our human capital to meet present and future skills needs," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"In releasing the report, JSA is seeking to support three high level objectives: minimising unemployment; increasing productivity, real wages, participation and sustainable economic growth; and increasing equity and reducing disadvantage. Supporting these objectives will involve anticipating how jobs and skills need to evolve and driving the national skills system to deliver the skills people will need.

"The new report serves as a comprehensive review of Australia's skills, education and training landscape, considers the emerging reform agenda, and sets up the parameters for a national jobs and skills roadmap.

"The document is useful in its discussion of megatrends shaping the economy and the workforce, including digital transformation, clean energy and the net zero transformation, and the growth of the care and support economy. It analyses current skills shortages which remain elevated, and employment projections for the decade ahead. It shows that demand for VET and higher education graduates is expected to grow strongly.

"While the report notes the strengths of our VET and higher education sectors, Ai Group agrees it is important that it points to a number of challenges faced by each sector. The timely work on a new National Skills Agreement will aim to address issues within the VET sector, while the current review of higher education to establish a Universities Accord promises to sharpen the role and outcomes of higher education.

"Ai Group has long called for a better-connected tertiary system that suits today’s workforce skill needs and is pleased the report advocates for a 'more joined up' tertiary education system (VET and higher education).

"Along with migration systems reform, VET and higher education are seen as the key enablers to achieve a national skills system that effectively and flexibly responds to skills and workforce needs. The report recognises that underpinning this will be a lifelong learning system that supports individuals to continually develop their skills to meet the needs of a dynamic economy and changing labour market.

"Ai Group looks forward to partnering JSA on the important next step – developing a national jobs and skills roadmap and examining the identified roadmap opportunities.

"It is now vital that the solid data and intelligence gathered for the Jobs and Skills Report is transformed into a national jobs and skills roadmap that leads the way to a workforce with the knowledge, skills and capabilities needed for our future," Mr Willox said.

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