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Initial Workforce Plan by Future Skills Orgnisation Revealed & National Forum for BSB, FNS & ICT Training

The Future Skills Organisation (FSO) has rolled out its Initial Workforce Plan, marking a crucial moment in the push for a skilled finance, technology, and business workforce. The plan, the result of six months of hard work by the Jobs and Skills Council, forms the basis for the upcoming National Forum titled “Building a Skilled Workforce.” Notably, The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP is set to deliver a keynote address at the forum in March, joined by leaders from industry, training, unions, and government, collectively building upon FSO’s strategic initiatives.

The comprehensive report underscores a growing demand for finance, technology, and business skills across the economy. It emphasises the potential of our Vocational Education and Training (VET) system to play a pivotal role in developing innovative solutions to meet future skill demands.

The Initial Workforce Plan identifies five key priority areas, including the necessity to maintain the relevance of training solutions in the workplace, address the workforce’s digital capability gap, keep pace with evolving technologies and changing skill needs, establish clearer pathways within finance, technology, and business occupations, and provide enhanced support for trainers and teachers to deliver world-class training.

Minister for Skills and Training, The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, expressed enthusiasm about engaging with FSO at the National Forum to address current skills and workforce shortages. He stated, “The Government is taking action through the Jobs and Skills Councils to tackle current challenges, and I look forward to collaborating with the Future Skills Organisation to map out solutions for future-proofing Australia’s finance, technology, and business workforces.”

Patrick Kidd OBE OAM, CEO of the Future Skills Organisation, views the National Forum as a pivotal moment to foster collaboration among representatives from finance, technology, and business sectors. “The National Forum will deliver an insightful and impactful event in Melbourne by bringing together industry leaders around a common goal to build a skilled, thriving, and resilient finance, technology, and business workforce,” said Mr. Kidd.

Yasmin Allen AM, FSO Board Chair and Independent Director, sees the Forum as an opportunity for stakeholders to work collectively towards building a future-ready finance, technology, and business workforce. Ms. Allen stated, “FSO’s Initial Workforce Plan helps to provide an agenda for action to increase the supply of people with relevant skills through VET. This is good for industry, good for learners, and great for Australia. I am looking to the National Forum to generate practical and actionable ideas which can be taken forward.”

Find out more about the Future Skills Organisation National Forum here.

Download the FSO’s Initial Workforce Plan here.

Key Findings from the Initial Workforce Plan

Despite growing demand for finance, technology, and business skills, VET system enrollments and completions are decreasing, presenting an opportunity for innovative solutions.

Tech and business occupations have outpaced all other occupations’ growth since 1986.

Since 2016, finance, technology, and business occupations have experienced 5-20% greater skill change compared to all occupations, primarily driven by the demand for digital skills.

VET has historically contributed about half of the training for entrants into finance, technology, and business occupations, but its prominence has declined in the last 5 years, particularly at lower levels (Certificates I–IV).

Five Identified Challenges

  1. Maintaining the relevance of training to meet industry needs.
  2. Addressing the digital capability gap affecting all industries.
  3. Accommodating rapid changes in technologies.
  4. Improving access through simplified pathways.
  5. Supporting VET practitioners to ensure industry relevance and currency.

About the Future Skills Organisation:

The Future Skills Organisation (FSO) is a Jobs and Skills Council funded by the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

FSO’s mission is to enhance the skilling and training system for the finance, technology, and business sectors by innovatively addressing skills gaps and ensuring an adequate supply of individuals with the right skills for the future.