National Skills Week commences, noting demand for ECEC employees is surging
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > National Skills Week commences, noting demand for ECEC employees is surging

National Skills Week commences, noting demand for ECEC employees is surging

by Freya Lucas

August 22, 2022

As National Skills Week (August 22 to 28) enters its twelfth year, many Australians are becoming aware of the need for a major jump in the number of people becoming skilled and working in priority early childhood, social assistance and health areas given the nation’s aging population, and growing demand for early childhood education.


“It’s estimated that an additional 16,000 new childcare workers (sic.)will be needed if demand for these services is to be met,” National Skills Week’s Chairman Brian Wexham noted, saying that while Australia’s birth rate is at a record low, workforce participation by women is at a record high and government policies have shifted with the aim of making childcare more accessible and affordable.


Human Services more broadly is a rapidly growing group of sectors and industries whereby humans are needed to provide care for other humans. The sector has nearly double the projected growth rate of any other in the Australian economy and includes areas such as aged care, disability services, early childhood education and care (ECEC), and veterans’ care.


“A skilled human services workforce is critical to Australia’s future,” Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) CEO, Jodi Schmidt explained, saying it was important to understand and celebrate the Human Services skills-based jobs which underpinned the Australian economy.


“Attracting and skilling workers in this sector is critically important to meet the enormous job demand ahead,” she said. 


“The HSSO is really proud to be a sponsor and participant in this year’s National Skills Week to celebrate, support and showcase the depth of skills required for this important and deeply satisfying line of work.”


A key objective of National Skills Week is to identify and highlight industries with the most in-demand jobs of the future as well as sectors forecast to see the biggest growth in coming years, to ensure Australians can gain the training and education they need to secure those jobs and maintain stable long-term employment.


Mr Wexham said it is critical that school leavers, job seekers, parents and career changers are informed of what the jobs of the future are, and what Australia’s most critical skills shortages and jobs needs are.


“This will ensure our young people, yet to start careers, can gain training and skills in education which is going to secure them a job at the end of that training. Further, it will assist in funneling Australia’s labour market into the training opportunities which are most likely going to lead to their employment.”


The theme for National Skills Week 2022 is ‘A Universe of Skills’ encouraging people to go beyond their imagination to discover careers, pathways and opportunities in skills and Vocational Education that they may not know about, thought about or even imagined.


“National Skills Week plays a pivotal role in strengthening and communicating the key messages of industry and government in an environment shaped by the fluid nature of skills requirements and ever-evolving technologies,” Mr Wexham said.


“This initiative is designed to achieve real, transformative outcomes for Australian people – to inspire people to undertake active, participative education and training that VET provides resulting in skills that can realise immediate rewards in jobs, success and contribute to building our economy.”


National Skills Week is supported by the Australian Government’s National Careers Institute.


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