Before the world had heard of COVID-19, PwC had begun a project looking at skills for the future. They found that at that time, 72% of Australian workers surveyed said their employers had not provided them skills training in the past 12 months.

In addition, only 28% said their employer was providing them with upskilling in areas relevant to their role. This is whilst 78% of Australian CEOs said that availability of key skills was a top threat to growth.

Now one year into the pandemic and whilst Australia might have been spared the worst of the health and economic impacts, the world, ways of working, and the national employment landscape have changed.

A National Skills Commission report into ‘the Shape of Australia’s Post-COVID Workforce’ found that education and training is key in helping to shape Australia’s post COVID-19 workforce.

In particular, it found that Vocational Education and Training (VET) short courses provide good opportunities for short term reskilling especially for those looking to retrain in a new occupation or upskill in their existing occupation.

This is important as job uncertainty continues, and for those who are made redundant or displaced from their jobs, the report notes that a ‘VET qualification can provide the pathway … to either move into higher skilled roles in the same industry or transition to new jobs in sectors with stronger growth potential’.

VET has been designed with specific job roles and industries in mind, with practical short courses enabling participants to apply learnings immediately in their current roles, or upskill quickly to get back to work.

Employers benefit from these courses as they can build team capability in a short space of time, develop workforces to achieve specific goals, or redeploy staff by retraining and retaining, using an agile approach to save jobs and improve efficiencies in uncertain times.

Upskilling and employee development needs to be a priority within Australian workplaces now more than ever. Back before the pandemic, Australia already had a skills development problem. In 2021, we are in need of more than just skills development for the unknown future, we need skills development and training to help support national employment and individual careers today.

If you are in need of training and development for your team, contact us today at or on +61 8 9379 9999.