Productivity growth is about harnessing our ingenuity to do more with the resources we already have — working smarter, not harder — and investing in the latest technology and the best ideas.

The Productivity Inquiry focuses on the enablers of productivity growth in a modern, market-based, service-oriented world. This fifth interim report outlines potential ways governments can improve education outcomes to support future productivity.

Key points:

  • Skills developed through education, training and on-the-job experience underlie the capacity to make the fullest use of the technology embedded in capital equipment, and the generation of new ideas and absorption of knowledge between producers of goods and services, both within Australia and from overseas.
  • As Australia's reliance on the services sector expands, people’s capabilities (‘human capital’) will play a more important role than physical capital in improving productivity.
  • Beyond these trends, we cannot predict many of the jobs that will emerge over the coming decades. An adaptable system teaching general skills can provide resilience to these changes.
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