Skills Forecast

This year’s Annual Update to the IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (Skills Forecast) proposes two key projects for 2020 – 2021 and identifies specific changes to the industry environment.

Thank you to those who provided feedback.

Your feedback was considered to finalise the document that was submitted from the IRC to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC). The information in the Annual Update will be used to update the AISC National Schedule of training package development projects.

Proposed projects are 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 also looks at alternative training being delivered, some of which draws on the training package, but is not delivered by registered training organisations.

Feedback was collected between 8 – 26 April 2020, via the online feedback hub, email and phone.

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
(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

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


Project 1: Rationalise Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Training Package

This project will review and rationalise the PPM Training Package, identifying any possibilities for the utilisation of cross-sector units and ensuring accredited qualifications exist with core competencies supported by a larger bank of electives. It is believed that such a rationalisation will assist in attracting registered training organisations back to the sector. A range of electives will allow training providers to tailor the qualification to the needs of the learner. This project would be complemented by the project proposed below, which would support the development of standardised resources and materials that could be made available online.

Project 2: Training and Assessment Materials

Without any registered training organisations willing and able to deliver the PPM Training Package, this project will develop a suite of nationally consistent training and assessment materials to support technical units of competency. The industry has specialised training needs and is strongly committed to remaining engaged and represented in the national VET system. The inability of an RTO to provide technical expertise on-site is what deters prospective RTOs. The IRC has developed a strategy to re-engage with the VET sector through an industry-led partnership between stakeholders, enterprises and an RTO. Training and assessment materials are an important part of this RTO partnership model.


No projects yet identified.


No projects yet identified.

Development Process of IRC Skills Forecasts