Education & Skills

Australia’s education and training system is well regarded, but it needs to become more efficient and effective so it can continue to deliver the skills needed by a modern economy.

Our policies apply across the education system:

More clearly identify the respective roles and responsibilities of federal and state governments.

Have an integrated plan for facilitating stronger industry engagement.

Reduce the administrative complexity for employers.

Provide relevant and timely information to students, job seekers and workers to improve the outcomes of their choices.

Develop a strong evidence based approach to labour force analysis and forecasting.

Work better with industry sectors to address their specific needs.


Schools are the bedrock of education. School attendance, preferably to year 12, and post-school education deliver the best economic and health outcomes for individuals. Schools need to help the best and brightest students achieve their potential, and also ensure that no student is left behind.

Our Policy for Schools

Introduce minimum standards for literacy and numeracy for all school leavers that relate to the standards required in the workplace using a benchmark such as PISA .

Work with state and federal governments on strengthening vocational training and vocational learning at school.

Implement a needs-based schools funding approach and review delivery in order to achieve educational excellence

Support national curriculum and encourage excellence and innovation in delivery at the local level.

Support increased participation in Asian languages and culture and consider innovative approaches to attract students to study languages.

Improve the careers advice and job pathways at schools, supported by stronger industry engagement.

Improve student understanding of the importance of a strong economy, and the roles of small business, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Higher Education

There are more than 1 million students in higher education. Given the uncapped demand-driven higher education system, students and universities need to be informed about career options and future labour market needs. Policy should seek to optimise job outcomes, with a focus on employability skills. Industry needs a stronger voice in determining teaching and learning standards.

Our Policies for Higher Education

Sound policy requires a holistic approach to tertiary education.

Inform students of labour market needs and graduate employment outcomes to ensure students undertake relevant courses.

Provide students with equitable access, stronger pathways and greater choice in higher education.

Ensure higher education is industry-informed with industry representation on the Higher Education Standards Panel.

Higher education funding and reform is evidence-based.

Higher education to be delivered through high quality teaching and strong regulation.

Higher education funding requires greater transparency and should be fiscally responsible and outcomes driven.

Student contributions to higher education should continue.

Support for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) to be a stronger feature of higher education delivery.

Improve university/industry collaboration, in the area of research to increase commercial opportunities and inform business practice.

Vocational Education

Employers value the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system given its emphasis on job skills required in modern workplaces. VET needs to be industry-driven and responsive. Its efficiency and effectiveness are undermined by the lack of clarity over roles and responsibilities brought about by issues of federation.

Our Policy for Vocational Education and Training

Increase funding by all Governments in VET to recognise the sector’s important role in meeting labour market needs and improving workplace productivity.

Leverage apprenticeship investment through the Skilling Australians Fund in order to implement an industry-led national approach to apprenticeships and traineeships.

Restore industry leadership in VET at all levels to ensure the system delivers outcomes that meet labour market needs.

Ensure training package developers are responsive to industry through a contestable market for their services.

Support student and employer choice of VET provider in order to ensure providers perform to the standards required by industry as well as remaining responsive to the needs of students.

Implement a national approach to VET funding and policy development to improve consistency and skills outcomes, ensuring there is no duplication in the activities of the Federal, State and Territory Governments

Maintain a strong focus on quality across the education and training system, through the professional development of instructors, institutions and effective and sufficiently resourced national regulators.

Highlight the value of skill sets to provide training focused on employer needs, and support the funding of skill set training in the system.

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