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Discussion paper

The skills and capabilities required to enter and stay in the workforce in the 2020s and beyond are different than in the 1990s. While some skills remain constant, many new ones have been added and the balance has shifted and continues to shift. No longer are we developing qualifications for a world where your entry qualification is designed set you up for the remainder of your working life.

This publication questions whether the previous assumptions underpinning vocational qualifications for Australia are still valid. When the existing qualifications for architecture were designed, the internet was in its infancy, email yet to be deployed, smart phones unimagined and digitisation was in the realm of science fiction.

The paper argues that the broadening of employment-based qualification pathways will also assist with the need to retool the nation. Developing new and different skills utilising the right digital technology will be increasingly important. This has major implications for our education and training provision, as well its intersection with work. The apprenticeship system sits neatly in this space. It is capable of providing a high-quality, fully integrated learning and employment experience at the leading edge of economic transformation. The education and training system should not always have to chase the future; it should be part of it.


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