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VET Driving Solutions for Regional Skills Shortages

Job and Skills Australia’s (JSA) latest Labour Market Update shows that there is a regional skills shortage, especially in the engineering and medical fields. It is important for the government, industries, educational institutions, and the vocational education and training (VET) sector to work together to educate and train more Australians and provide better access to relevant courses and degrees across the country.

Occupations Facing Regional Skills Shortages

Many occupations in regional areas are facing shortages of skilled workers. These include doctors, nurses, early childhood teachers, cooks, mechanics, and mining engineers. The lack of these essential workers in rural areas is particularly worrying.

12-Month Skills Agreement

To tackle this issue, the Albanese Government has implemented a 12-month Skills Agreement that provides 180,000 free places for vocational training and education. Since January 2023, many people from regional and rural areas have enrolled in these programs, accounting for about one-third of all enrolments nationwide. This initiative aims to strengthen the education and training sectors and address the regional skills shortage.

Importance of VET in Employment Growth to Address Regional Skills Shortages

In the past year, around 92% of job growth has been in occupations that require some level of education after high school. About two-thirds of total employment has been in fields where vocational qualifications are the main pathway. These numbers highlight the importance of VET in preparing people for employment and meeting the needs of the job market.

Encouraging Trends

Although regional skills shortages persist, the report brings encouraging news of significant growth in full-time employment and positive outcomes for the long-term unemployed.

In particular, the report reveals that the number of individuals who have been out of the workforce for a year or more has decreased by over 11,000. This decrease represents the lowest level since 2009, signifying notable progress in addressing long-term unemployment.

In conclusion, addressing the skills shortage and creating better job opportunities requires continuous efforts to improve the skills of the workforce. VET plays a vital role in meeting the needs of regional areas and providing Australians with valuable qualifications for employment.

Want to learn what’s new in the VET industry? Find more updates about the sector by visiting our blog.

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