National Skills Passport

Posted in Submissions on 19 February 2024

In February 2024 the Departments of Education and Employment and Workplace Relations asked for feedback on a proposed National Skills Passport. The idea first emerged in the Employment White Paper and was again canvassed in the Universities Accord Interim Report.

DASSH Members broadly support the proposal to create a business case around a National Skills Passport. Improving learning pathways, encouraging lifelong learning and making it easier for employers and educational institutions to verify skills and education history would be a good thing.

Members said the skills taxonomy used to underpin any skills passport must accurately capture and reflect the full spectrum of skills needed across the broad scope of Australia’s job market and education system, including cognitive and comprehension-based skills.

The proposed platform’s potential to guide students in future decisions about their education is a welcome feature and could serve to help students from both traditional and non-traditional pathways to navigate the system.

If implemented, there must be reliable and transparent mechanisms used to direct students towards future study opportunities. Some of the most in-demand skills are among the most complex and difficult to define and measure, particularly from within the arts, social sciences and humanities. It is critical that the Skills Passport platform does not lead to students being guided towards vocational courses at the expense of complex and challenging areas that remain vital to Australia’s national capabilities such as languages or the study of other societies and cultures.