Skills Forecast

This year’s Annual Update to the IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (Skills Forecast) identifies specific changes to the industry environment over the past year. It highlights the impact of COVID-19, industry response and developments, including challenges around trade tensions. It also includes information about employers’ use of the national SFI Seafood Industry Training Package and qualifications, barriers to training, hiring apprentices and trainees, and reasons behind non-completion rates.

Substantial work was undertaken in 2018-19 to update skills standards and qualifications for the aquaculture and wild catch industry. This included work to incorporate the essential skills for biosecurity, regulation and compliance, and more recently (2019-20) addressing the skills gaps in underwater technologies and working with crocodiles. Research to date has shown no skills gaps in the skills standards and therefore no projects have been identified for 2021-22. If you are aware of any skills gaps requiring work please let us know.

Your feedback and input on the information outlined in this draft document is encouraged.

Feedback is being collected from 24 March until 16 April 2021.

This Annual Update to the Skills Forecast will be submitted from the IRC to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) at the end of April, for their consideration.

View draft Annual Update and provide feedback

How to provide feedback

We are collecting feedback through our online Feedback Hub, where you can post comments directly on the draft document, as well as view any comments from others. Your comments will remain anonymous. Only Skills Impact internal staff and contractors working directly on the Skills Forecast can identify users. For more information, see our Privacy Policy. The feedback hub is also moderated to avoid misuse. For further details, see our Moderation Policy. 

  1. Click the document icon above.
  2. You will be asked to register or login (for a free account). Follow the prompts.
  3. Once logged in, you will be able to post feedback directly on the document.
  4. Download user instructions

Prefer to email us your feedback?
You can email your feedback to

Click here to download the draft document in Microsoft Word format.

What is a Skills Forecast?

Skills Forecasts describe industry trends, opportunities and challenges, and identify skills gaps and emerging skills needs. They propose a four year plan for reviewing and developing relevant units, skill sets and qualifications across a training package. They are created once every three years, but are updated annually. The Annual Updates identify any specific changes to the industry environment, and to address current priority issues.

Every year in April, the full Skills Forecast or Annual Update is submitted by the relevant IRC to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC). The AISC advises Commonwealth and State Industry and Skills Ministers on the implementation of national vocational education and training policies, and approves nationally recognised training packages.

The AISC draws on this information to update their AISC National Schedule, and to determine future Training Package Projects. View current projects, that have been approved out of previous Skills Forecasts.

Current Skills Forecast

2019 – 2022 Skills Forecast
(click here to see the draft document that was available for feedback from 15 March – 18 April 2019, including any comments made)

Skills Forecasts Archive

2020 Annual Update to 2019 – 2022 Skills Forecast

2018 – 2021 Skills Forecast

2017 – 2020 Skills Forecast

2016 – 2019 Four Year Work Plan

Please note: IRC Skills Forecasts were previously called Four Year Work Plans.

Development Process of IRC Skills Forecasts