National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development

For: 

The National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development (NASWD) identifies the long term objectives of the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments in the areas of skills and workforce development.

The NASWD objective is to support a vocational education and training (VET) system that delivers a productive and highly skilled workforce; which enables all working age Australians to develop the skills and qualifications needed to participate effectively in the labour market and contribute to Australia's economic future; and supports the achievement of increased rates of workforce participation.

Agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2012, the NASWD is an ongoing national agreement under the Intergovernmental Agreement of Federal Financial Relations.

The National Agreement sets two long term national targets to be achieved by 2020:

  • halve the proportion of Australians 20–64 years of age without qualifications at the Certificate III level and above; and
  • double the number of higher level qualification completions (diploma and advanced diploma).

Progress towards these targets are measured and publically reported through the COAG performance dashboard, maintained by the Productivity Commission.

The National Agreement is associated with the Skills and Workforce Development National Specific Purpose Payments (SPP), where the Australian Government provides funding of around $1.5 billion annually to state and territory governments to support them in the delivery of VET services and the running of their training systems.

Review of the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development (NASWD) 

On 15 November 2019, the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, and the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, announced a review of the NASWD which will broadly examine the effectiveness of the National Agreement and options for future collaborative arrangements across the sector.

The Productivity Commission has been funded to undertake the review and further information is available on the Productivity Commission website.