Exploring the National Skills Commission’s Australian Skills Classification
How can the general public learn about and be encouraged to interact with the Australian Skills Classification to identify skills within occupations, identify their own skillsets and identify transferability to other occupations of interest?
The challenge involves exploring how the Australian Skills Classification can be made useful to the general public (including young people, job seekers and those looking for job transitions) for use in identifying existing skill and pathways of transition to occupations of interest.
The Australian Skills Classification
The National Skills Commission (NSC) was established in July 2020, under the National Skills Commissioner Act 2020 and is supported by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
The Australian Skills Classification (the Classification) was released by the NSC as a beta in March 2021. The Classification is a brand new way of categorising skills, and it systematically sets out a structure for and relationships between skills within occupations and across the labour market.
The Classification currently provides occupation profiles outlining the core competencies, technology tools, and specialist tasks for 600 occupations. The Classification identifies:
• 10 core competencies: common skills used in all occupations
• 88 technology tools: a technology, such as software or hardware, associated with a job
• 1925 specialist tasks: detailed work activities required within a job.
The new way of categorising skills and its relationship with occupations can be illustrated in the following example. Sales Assistants is the largest employing occupation in Australia. This occupation requires skills in customer service, processing sales, maintaining product knowledge and monitoring inventories. The Classification allows users to see which other occupations also require these skills. For instance 13 other occupations also perform the task of “Advise customers on the use of goods or services”, including Landscape Architects and ICT Sales Professionals. Sales Assistants also have high competency levels for teamwork and use a variety of software and hardware in their roles, all of which can be seen in the Classification profile for this occupation.
While training packages and industry organisations have defined certain skill sets for particular occupations, there has been a lack of a broader framework to identify and consistently measure and align skills. Instead, education levels, qualifications and occupations have been used as proxies for skill levels. While skills in individual occupations, qualifications are recognised, there has been a lack of understanding of how bundles of skills combine within occupations and can be transferable across different roles in the labour market.
By categorising skills, and linking them to occupations, the Australian Skills Classification helps people such as job seekers and school leavers make informed decisions about jobs and career choices.
Since the beta launch in March, the current users of the Skills Classification have mainly been industry associations and leaders, training and qualification providers, and policy makers and researchers. The challenge is now to explore how the Skills Classification can be made useful to the general public (including young people, job seekers and those looking for job transitions) for use in identifying existing skills and pathways of transition to occupations of interest.
This challenge could involve developing a new interface, for example that is better targeted to these demographics with new ways of navigating or other functionality that allows the general public to explore and becoming familiar with using the Classification.
Eligibility: Participants must use the Australian Skills Classification dataset.
Entry: Challenge entry is available to all teams in Australia.
Australian Skills Classification Dataset