Covid-19 Impact On Future Skills

Date —

3 July 2020

Industry Sector/s —
Vocational Education & Training

Summary —

The Covid-19 crisis has produced an unprecedented fall in employment, a dramatic drop in hours worked, a significant increase in underemployment, a record number of people leaving the labour force, and job vacancies falling to the lowest level in over a decade. These are the findings of a new report produced by the National Skills Commission and sets the scene in which the Australian Government will make a future investment in skills.

Key Issues —

The National Skills Commission’s new report entitled A snapshot in time: The Australian labour market and COVID-19 recognises that as the economic recovery gets underway, there will be challenges and difficult times ahead. But there will also be opportunities, particularly in determining future skills needs.

The report notes that, as a nation, we can hasten recovery by understanding where jobs are growing, and ensuring our workforce has the necessary skills for those jobs. The determination of where the skills are is vital to the work of the National Skills Commission in determining funding priorities for vocational education and training. This requires a deep understanding of which sectors, industries, occupations, groups in our society and regions have been, and might continue to be, affected by the economic shock from COVID-19.

The report is clear, the focus on skilling, re-skilling or upskilling displaced workers will be essential to open new prospects for job seekers and drive the recovery of the jobs market and our economy. A copy of the report can be downloaded from the link below.

National Skills Commission Download ⁠—

A snapshot in time: The Australian labour market and COVID-19 report [PDF]

The NSC will work to ensure skill shortages don’t act as a handbrake on growth as businesses begin hiring again. Analysing the impact of COVID-19 will help identify where there is growth and what jobs are demand. Matching workers to those jobs in this uncertain and evolving environment will require the ability to quickly identify skills needs and retrain people.

The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) strongly endorsed the establishment of the National Skills Commission in early 2020 and has maintained an ongoing dialogue with Mr Adam Boyton, the National Skills Commissioner, since his appointment. Indeed, ITECA met with Mr Boyton on the day the report was released.

In its report, the National Skills Commission states that, ore than ever, the focus on skilling and re-skilling displaced workers will be essential to the recovery of the jobs market and the economy. Improved efforts on job matching and connecting job seekers with job opportunities through an increased focus on skills transferability and mid-career change will help get people back into jobs.

This report is helps set the scene in which the Australian Government will make decisions on its investment in vocational education and training and therefore is a key document for independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that support students through government funding.  ITECA will continue to meet with the National Skills Commissioner to help guide decision-marking on determining the Australian Governments funding decisions.

Independent providers support more than 80% of the 4.1 million students in vocational education and training across Australia.

Member Engagement —

ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Vocational Education and Training Committee.  ITECA Membership - it's a great time to get involved.

Further Information —

For more information on this issue please send an email to or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter @ITECAust or via Facebook at

Disclaimer & Copyright —

This information may be reproduced in limited circumstances under a Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.  Information published on this webpage is intended for general information only and no warranty is providers as to accuracy or completeness thus any reliance you place on this material is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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