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Australia to invest $10 million in data tool to tackle skills shortage

The tool will provide a comprehensive, near real-time view of the country's workforce

The Australian government is investing $10 million (£5.3 million) in a data tool as it looks to address the country’s skill shortage.

The money will be used to develop an integrated data tool that is set to deliver a comprehensive, near real-time view of Australia’s workforce, skill, and labour market.

The tool will deliver workforce, skills, and labour data at a regional level to help businesses understand the supply and demand for staff, assist them in their workforce planning, and match available skills and training to their needs, said the government.

The government hopes that the initiative will ensure that workforce policy and sector-specific workforce plans are data-driven and enable Australians to take up available work, remove barriers to participation, activate industry and target migration to complement the domestic workforce and fill skills and labour gaps.

‘It identifies the critical role business and industry needs to play in investing in their existing staff and contributing to Australia’s current and future workforce, and ensures that all Australians have opportunities to train, reskill, or upskill, and find meaningful work,” said Stuart Robert, minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business.

Robert also announced that migrants living in Australia will be fast-tracked into jobs where there are skill shortages through a $20 million investment. The money will be used to deliver faster, cheaper skills assessments which will acknowledge the valuable skills migrants have brought with them and their ability to contribute to the Australian workforce, he said. 

The skills shortage has been a persistent problem for the country, as it invested $8 million in new projects designed to improve the skills and availability of cyber security professionals in the country in June. Eight projects were awarded funding that aims to introduce students to training and career pathways and create job-ready professionals through industry traineeships and work experience programmes.

The country has also been attempting to attract migrants through its Global Talent Visa Program, which as of September had signed up 9,584 migrants. The sector with the most applications in this stream was digitech, followed by health industries, energy, and financial services and fintech.

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