National Skills Needs List to be modernised

The Morrison Government today announced a consultation process for a review of the National Skills Needs List, which identifies trades experiencing a skills shortage.

Announcing the review during National Skills Week, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the list is used to determine eligibility to receive financial assistance to take on an apprentice or trainee or up-skill current staff in occupations experiencing skills shortages.

“The review will ensure skills shortages are identified using a forward-looking, up-to-date methodology and that apprenticeship incentives are targeted at addressing critical skills shortages in the Australian economy,” Minister Cash said.

“Developing a robust and enduring approach to determining how apprenticeship incentives address skills shortages is part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to maintaining a strong vocational education and training sector that supports employers’ needs and builds a skilled workforce.”

The review will consult widely with industry and other stakeholders across Australia and will ensure the National Skills Needs List is responsive to changing labour market conditions.

Interested stakeholders are invited to respond to the questions outlined in the issues paper, published today, which seeks to establish an agreed set of design principles for a replacement methodology for the National Skills Needs List.

Minister Cash said the Government is working hard to ensure that skills and training in Australia keeps pace with our changing economy.

“We have invested $525 million through the Skills Package Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow. Through this package, we are reforming the VET sector and strengthening the skills capability of the Australian workforce,” Minister Cash said.

“I urge stakeholders with an interest in building a high-quality Australian workforce with the skills that employers need to contribute to this important review.”

The issues paper is available on the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business website at

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