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Current state of skills in South Australia

South Australia faces immediate skills challenges that need to be addressed as a matter of priority.

South Australia is facing persistent skill shortages with 351 occupations currently in shortage, up from 149 in 2021 and 60 percent of recruiting employers reporting recruitment difficulties.

South Australia has the lowest proportion of the working age population with a non-school qualification; the lowest percentage of young people fully engaged in employment or study in Australia, and a completion rate for VET qualifications at 48.8 percent.

Some groups of learners have lower completion rates and poorer employment outcomes after training than average. This may be attributed to the complexity of the skills system and Skilled. Thriving. Connected. will seek to improve outcomes for these learners.

We need more South Australians skilled for a range of government priorities.

This includes:

  • the care sector, including early childhood education and care and in our hospitals
  • in our construction sector, on government projects and in commercial buildings and homes, and
  • in our tech sector to support high tech work, cyber security and IT roles across all businesses.

South Australia also needs to grow the workforce to support our transition to a green economy and to build defence capability.

South Australia’s Skills Outlook

Discover South Australia’s current and emerging skills needs that may be supported through vocational education and training (VET).

The Skills Outlook provides projections on the demand for new VET qualifications between 2023-24 and 2027-28 in South Australia.

Job projections and insights

9 in 10jobs by 2033 will require post-school education
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia, Towards a National Jobs and Skills Roadmap – Annual Jobs and Skills Report 2023
45%of future jobs will have VET as a primary pathway
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia, Towards a National Jobs and Skills Roadmap – Annual Jobs and Skills Report 2023
60%of recruiting employers report difficulties finding staff
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia, Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey (REOS) Recruitment Insights Report – October 2023

We are aware of the challenges South Australia faces but also recognise there is a strong base to build on.

Each year over 200,000 people undertake some form of VET in South Australia. Of these around 70,000 are supported through a subsidy paid by government to a training provider to help reduce fees.

Over the past year, around 12,500 students have had access to a fee free training place through Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education.

The Australian and South Australian Governments have invested in an additional 15,000 places to be made available over three years from the start of 2024. This further commitment builds on the success of Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education to date.

Strengths of the VET system

South Australia's VET system has many strengths, reflected through consistently high levels of employer and student satisfaction, with 85 per cent of employers satisfied with nationally recognised VET and 89.9 per cent of government-funded South Australian qualification completers satisfied with their training.

There have also been recent increases in students choosing to study VET, with South Australian Government-funded VET student numbers increasing by 9.5 per cent to 54,665 in the first six months of 2023 when compared to the same period the year prior.

VET plays a central role

VET has a central role to play in enabling more South Australians to gain qualifications and take up well paid and valued jobs.

Through careful and considered planning and providing support for learners to succeed, South Australia can access untapped potential within its population for the jobs most in demand and support South Australians to capitalise on the well paid jobs in our economy.