Australia requires a strong system of adult learning to position firms and workers to succeed as skill demand changes. The country has scope to improve the coverage and inclusiveness of its adult learning system as coverage has declined since 2012, and several vulnerable groups are under-represented. Financial incentives, if carefully designed, can raise participation in adult learning by addressing cost and time barriers. This report summarises the advantages and disadvantages with various financial incentives to promote adult learning based on international and Australian experience. Drawing from these insights, as well as analysis of individual and firm-level barriers, the report provides policy recommendations for how Australia could reform its financial incentives to boost participation.
Skills have the potential to transform lives and drive economies. However, in many countries, imbalances between the supply and demand for skills lead to significant skill mismatches and shortages, with as many as three in five workers in the OECD employed in jobs that do not make the best use of their skills. At the same time, a large number of employers report hiring problems due to skill shortages. This series examines how countries measure changing skill needs and how they develop skills that respond to labour market needs and how they ensure that these skills are fully utilised by individuals and employers. Presenting both thematic reports on specific policies and issues and in-depth country reviews, this series offers countries the information and analysis they need to get skills right.