Review of the Australian Apprenticeships National Skills Needs List


The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business is undertaking a Review of the Australian Apprenticeships National Skills Needs List with a view to advising the Government on the methodology for identifying skills shortage occupations and the inaugural composition of the replacement list.

To assist this process, the Department is seeking input from industry and employer groups, and other interested stakeholders, through a two-stage consultation process.

The first round of consultations undertaken by the Department on the Issues Paper closed on 27 September 2019. A second round of consultations will occur later this year, seeking comment on the proposed design of the replacement skills shortage methodology.

If you have any queries relating to the consultation process, please contact the Director, Apprenticeships Framework Policy via email at

Submissions closed on 27 September 2019.

View submissions.

Consultation Timeline

Further detail about the consultation process is available in the attached Consultation Document.

The steps in the consultation for the Review of the National Skills Needs List:

Stage 2

Stakeholders were are invited to submit submissions on the 19 questions in the Issues Paper. In addition to the submission process, the Department met with employer and industry representatives.

Background to the Review of the National Skills Needs List

The National Skills Needs List comprises occupations that have been identified as being in skills shortage for the purpose of targeting incentives under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.

In the 2019-20 Budget the Government announced that it would replace the existing Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program with a new and streamlined Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships program, commencing 1 July 2020.

In anticipation of the commencement of the Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships program, the Government announced it would comprehensively review the National Skills Needs List, in consultation with industry and employer groups, to ensure it remains relevant to changing labour market demand.

The Review is being conducted by the Department in consultation with the Interim National Skills Commission to ensure a smooth handover to the National Skills Commission. The National Skills Commission will be responsible for maintaining and updating the skills shortage methodology and advising the Government on the composition of the occupation list going forward. The composition of the list will ultimately be a decision of the Government.