Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

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Developing a workforce for future challenges 

08 Mar 2013

The Australian workforce needs targeted planning to meet the future demands of industry and a rapidly changing global economy, according to a major strategy document launched today.

Speaking at the University of Western Sydney today, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Chris Bowen MP, welcomed the report by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA).

Mr Bowen said the Future Focus: 2013 National Workforce Development Strategy identified seven key areas of improvement, including skills development to position Australia as a knowledge economy.

"This strategy is an important national update on the pathway to building a better and more skilled national workforce, and aligns with this Government's commitment to a more productive and prosperous nation," Mr Bowen said.

"High quality training and education underpins our goals of boosting productivity and developing a culture of innovation.

"Modelling in the report shows the demand for skills will continue to grow in the years to 2025. Highly qualified and skilled workers not only have better career prospects but are more productive employees who help businesses grow.

"That's why we are committed to building skills and we are investing more than $15 billion in skills and training over the next four years.

"This report will help to inform future policy and ensure our record investment in skills and training is well directed."

Future Focus is an update of the 2010 report Australian Workforce Futures which was the first National Workforce Development Strategy.

The updated strategy finds that there is a strong requirement for the right skills to be available at the right time and place to boost productivity and a need for individuals, enterprises and industries to use their skills to their full advantage.

Mr Bowen thanked AWPA for the strategy, which included a widespread consultation process. Future Focus can be accessed online at:

Media contacts: Minister's office 02 6277 7580.

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