Skills Forecast

The reputation of Australian meat as high quality has been built by a skilled and trained meat processing workforce. COVID-19 had many direct impacts on the meat industry affecting the workforce, markets and training. The situation also emphasised the importance of the skills in this industry for supporting food security, with domestic meat sales rising by 30% after the initial COVID-19 lockdowns came into force.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on a key project that has been proposed for 2021 – 2024 and specific changes to the industry environment that have been identified in this year’s Annual Update to the IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (Skills Forecast). Feedback was collected from 22 April – 7 May 2021, through our online feedback hub and email.

The proposed project is summarised in the grey box below.

This year’s Annual Update includes information about employers’ use of training packages and qualifications, barriers to hiring apprentices and trainees, and reasons behind non-completion rates. It highlights the impact of COVID-19, including on local and global markets and on training.

The Annual Update to the Skills Forecast has been submitted from the IRC to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) for their consideration. The information will be used to update the AISC National Schedule of training package development projects.

Click here to download the final document

If you would like to view the draft version that was available for feedback, including any comments made Click here

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

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.

Proposed Schedule of Work


Meat Processing Skills Review Project (Stage 1)

This project proposes a full review of the AMP Australian Meat Processing Training Package, to take place over three stages (approximately three years). The training package has undergone a series of small changes over the last five years, designed to meet specific industry needs. It is designed for workplace-based delivery and includes elements that are no longer considered best practice in the VET system. The aim of this project is to review all 24 qualifications, 446 units of competency and 75 skill sets so they not only meet Training Package Standards, but so they are more user friendly for employers, learners and registered training providers (RTOs). This work will reduce duplication across the training package, improve the ability for employers and learners to choose the appropriate program of learning, and will simplify RTO delivery. The first stage of this project is proposed to take place in 2021-22 and will include the review of all general meat processing qualifications and core units to create qualifications that can have specialist skills or job role streams added as they are developed. This will also allow for groupings of job roles at relevant AQF levels within single qualifications.


Meat Processing Skills Review Project (Stage 2)

A continuation of the project described above. This stage will focus on reviewing components based on identified industry sectors.


Meat Processing Skills Review Project (Stage 3)

A continuation of the project described above. This stage will focus on reviewing the qualifications and skills standards relating to retail operations and specialist areas.

Development Process of IRC Skills Forecasts