Post Pandemic Policy Paper
Rapid and intense education and training will be a key driver for Australia’s economic recovery as we emerge from the prevailing crisis. The way we respond through education and training will be a major influence on the recovery of the economy and the broader community. An open, high quality education system for skills formation is seen as one of the four key pillars for a well-functioning labour market.
If Australia is to rebuild and provide access to jobs in all emerging and continuing industries, our education and training outcomes need to closely align with the opportunities in the labour market as they re-emerge. All workers must receive the training needed to allow them to undertake productive and engaged roles in order to better contribute to renewal and innovation in the workplace.
The COVID-19 crisis came at a time when Australia was already suffering from a range of skills issues and our education and training system faced challenges in developing the relevant, quality skills in the timeframes required. Highly skilled jobs are increasingly recognised as important to contribute to roles emerging through digital transformation. The crisis has forced many companies to shift further into new technologies. It has highlighted and created urgency around skills broadly and provides impetus to address them. But they must now be accelerated through renewed strategies and funding measures.
Education and training must be related to business growth needs, integrated with industry strategies and include innovative approaches that better anticipate immediate-, short- and medium- term skill priorities for industry sectors. The training then available must be easy to access and relevant for individuals to gain employment in roles that are often different from the past. Strategies must be developed for all workforce age categories and must facilitate the mobility of individuals by providing recognition of achievement.
Our recommendations focus on major labour market programs supported by necessary education and training system reforms.