February 10, 2016

National Skills Week 2016 – Introduction, Strategic Thinking and Theming

National Skills Week continues to celebrate and inform students and the wider public of the diversity and career pathways available through Vocational Education and Training (VET).

This year’s National Skills Week (2016) aims to challenge people to think about how much they really know about VET, the progression opportunities, and the rapidly changing jobs market.

Rapid technological change will continue to impact all sectors of industry. The increasing use of technology is one of the integral factors changing the nature of work and therefore skill requirements of Australian industry.

It is imperative that skills and training be further promoted to reflect this focus.

Strategies and initiatives built around National Skills Week are designed to sustain the commitment, participation and investment of stakeholders from the sector further extending their engagement, encouraging them to be Drivers of Change.

In past years National Skills Week has enlisted and supported high profile credible images and ambassadors to sell the message at both formal events and through a national media platform utilising both traditional media and social media.

Media engagement plays a pivotal role in getting the messages associated with National Skills Week out, it fosters debate, and importantly harnesses and promotes the achievements and positive stories emanating from the Australian Training Awards and WorldSkills Australia.

These ambassadors that include industry, students and educators play a significant role in the promotion of VET and will be the subject of an increased focus for 2016.

Key messages and objectives for 2016 are:

  • Revealing the hidden secrets of VET (benefits, pathways, diversity and employment outcomes).
  • Harnessing the full potential inherent in the Australian Training Awards winners and finalists to support messaging.
  • Increase the brand value of VET.
  • Create greater interest in STEM, with tailored messages about the changing world of work, and why innovation is key (innovation agenda). Too few Australian students are studying maths, science and IT related subjects in schools – skills that are critical to prepare students for jobs of the future.
  • Skills shortages – responding to the challenges presented by an ageing population, the need for health care workers, early childhood education is another area of significance with the number of children entering childcare (early learning) which has increased 20% over the last three years.
  • Skills shortages in tourism and hospitality. Government indicators highlight, as Australia moves to a more service-lead economy, one of the most vibrant and expanding areas of opportunity is the tourism/hospitality market, which is showing significant growth.
  • Traditional trades, particularly across building and construction where skills shortages are being experienced.
  • Quality. The Government has taken strong action to strengthen the regulatory framework to protect the reputation of the sector. Messaging to push confidence among the broader public is key, (i.e. My Skills).
  • Regional areas. Australia’s agriculture industry is still a key component to Australia’s prosperity. The average age of a farmer is 53!
  • Training linked to jobs, New World, New Vision, Your Future.