National Skills Commission


The National Skills Commission will be a critical new part of Australia’s economic infrastructure, providing expert advice and national leadership on the Australian labour market, current and future skills needs and workforce development issues.

As we deal with COVID-19 and the impact on the economy, we need to understand what’s happening in the labour market, the structural shifts that will occur and the skilling and re-training needed to get people into jobs.

The National Skills Commission’s research and analysis will draw on current and emerging data sources as well as cutting-edge analytic techniques to ensure Australia’s labour market analysis capability is high quality.

Leading the National Skills Commission

Mr Adam Boyton was appointed interim National Skills Commissioner in October 2019 to oversee early design work and engage in a co-design process.

Photo of Adam Boyton

Mr Boyton is leading work to improve our understanding of the changing labour market and to ensure we have a well-trained, adaptable workforce ready for future challenges — supported by a world class VET system.

Mr Boyton has almost 25 years as an economist across government and the private sector. He was previously the Chief Economist at the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chief Economist for Deutsche Bank. He was a member of the NSW Skills Board from 2013 and was closely involved in the development of pricing, funding and costing models and in the continuous review and assessment of VET in NSW.

The Commissioner’s Role

The National Skills Commissioner Bill 2020 to establish a new statutory position — the National Skills Commissioner (the Commissioner) was introduced into Parliament on Thursday 14 May 2020.

The Bill gives the Commissioner an advisory function, providing advice to the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business and the Secretary of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment on:

  • Australia’s current, emerging and future workforce skills needs
  • the performance of Australia’s system for providing VET and issues affecting the state of the Australian and international labour markets
  • efficient prices for VET courses
  • the public and private return on government investment in VET qualifications.

The Commissioner will work with state and territory governments, employers and other stakeholders, supported by a team from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Our Work

The Commission is providing high quality advice to the Minister on Australia’s labour market, future workforce changes and current and emerging skills needs.

We will examine how sectors will recover from the impact of COVID-19 and help identify transition pathways to help people to get back into jobs.

Much of our labour market analysis is published through the Labour Market Information Portal.

Please contact the National Skills Commission for more information.

Labour market and workforce analysis

Understanding the Australian labour market as the economy moves through COVID-19 recovery is critical in addressing skill shortages or surpluses.

We are monitoring, researching and analysing developments in the labour market at an overall and regional level. Our work also helps understand the impact labour market developments are having the long-term unemployed, mature aged people and the underemployed.

The Labour Market Information Portal is a website that brings together data, reports and insights to help better understand the local labour market. We regularly update this site for the latest information on employment conditions.

Job Outlook is the Australian Government’s online guide to occupations and trends in the labour market. The tools on Job Outlook help people to make decisions about their job search, study or training needs.

Skills Forecasting and Analysis

The Commission will identify current and emerging skills needs and develop now-casting capability to understand the state of the labour market in almost real-time.

We are harnessing the Jobs and Education Data Infrastructure (JEDI) project data to develop and publish new insights and produce tools to help individuals, businesses, education providers and policy makers adapt to the changing labour market.

Skills Match also uses JEDI data to help people identify jobs that match their skills.


To inform the design of the National Skills Commission, the Australian Government undertook a comprehensive co-design National Skills Commission’s process between September and December 2019.

A Discussion paper calling for submissions was published online on 26 September 2019 and closed on 22 November 2019. A total of 59 submissions were received.

To complement the discussion paper, over 500 people participated in one of the 13 workshops and two small business roundtables across Australia.

A public report summarising the consultations titled This is what we heard is available for download.

The Joyce Review

The creation of the National Skills Commission was one of the key recommendations from the review conducted by the Honourable Steven Joyce, Strengthening Skills: Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training System (the Joyce review), completed in 2019. The Government committed to the establishment of the NSC in the 2019-20 Budget, as part of the $585 million Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow skills package.

COVID-19 Resources

Australia’s post COVID-19 economy will rely on a highly skilled, resilient and adaptable workforce. The skills needs of the economy are likely to evolve, and the National Skills Commission will help prepare our skills sector for the recovery following the global Coronavirus crisis.

All businesses and individuals are encouraged to consider the Australian and state and territory government response packages.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed several factsheets, including for vocational education and training (VET) providers and employers, to help keep you informed about COVID-19.

Information is regularly updated on the Australian Treasury website and