As part of the Australian Government’s ‘Skilling Australia for the Future’ policy, an independent statutory body, Skills Australia, was established to provide advice on current and future demand for skills and investment in training. In September 2008, Skills Australia joined with the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia to sponsor a half-day seminar with academics and others to discuss what current research findings (both in Australia and overseas) can tell policy makers and practitioners about the labour market, the formation and use of skills and future skills requirements. The seminar was intended to provide input into Skills Australia’s determination of its future research priorities, as well as inform its advice more generally. The dialogue between Skills Australia and the research community will also inform researchers about what policy advisers see as the key policy issues, and assist the research community in directing future research so that it is policy relevant.
This paper contextualises the proceedings of the seminar within a broader public policy framework and records the outcomes of the event and the significance for policy.