The value of policy relevant research in education, training, jobs and skills

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Peter Dawkins

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Abstract

This article is an edited version of an invited address to the 2023 Australian Labour Market Workshop. The author draws on his four decades of experience in academia and government, to highlight some major changes that have occurred in the Australian labour market and the education and training system and associated key policy issues that have arisen as a result. These changes raise the following questions. How can we better match labour supply with labour demand? Is our tertiary education system providing the skills we need? Are our migration settings supporting the enhancement of labour market outcomes? The article highlights why the current environment in Australia is well placed to pursue evidence-based policy solutions to these questions. In particular, the establishment of Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) is a significant development in the history of evidence-based policy making in the areas of labour markets, education and training. The early work of JSA has already shed significant light on these key policy questions and opens up a path to an evidence-based national jobs and skills roadmap.

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