Review of the Australian Apprenticeships National Skills Needs List


The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business is undertaking a Review of the National Skills Needs List with a view to advising the Government on the methodology and the inaugural composition of the replacement list.

To assist this process, the Department is seeking input from industry and employer groups, and other interested stakeholders, through a two-stage consultation process. The first round of consultations undertaken by the Department on the Issues Paper closed on 27 September 2019.

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In this second round of consultation, the Department is seeking input on a proposed methodology to underpin the identification of skills shortages for the purpose of targeting skills-shortage related apprenticeship incentives.

The Methodology Discussion Paper summarises the feedback received from the Issues Paper consultation process and outlines the features of a proposed forward looking skills shortage methodology to replace the National Skills Needs List.

Submissions may be made using the structured Submission Form or you may lodge a separate submission via the email address below (please refer to the Department’s submission guidelines).

If you have any enquiries regarding the consultation process or are unable to submit your response using one of these methods, please contact the Director, Apprenticeships Framework via email at

The closing date for Submissions is 31 January 2020

Consultation Timeline

Further detail about the consultation process is available in the attached Consultation Document.

The steps in the consultation for the Review of the National Skills Needs List:

Stage 4

The second consultation paper outlining a proposed skills shortage methodology for targeting apprenticeship incentives was released on 12 December 2019.

Background to the Review of the National Skills Needs List

In the 2019-20 Budget the Government announced that from 1 July 2020 it would replace the existing Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program with a new and streamlined Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships (IAA) program.

In anticipation of the commencement of the IAA, the Government announced it would comprehensively review the National Skills Needs List, in consultation with industry and employer groups, to ensure it remains relevant to changing labour market demand.

The Review is being conducted by the Department in consultation with the Interim National Skills Commission to ensure a smooth handover to the National Skills Commission, which will be responsible for maintaining and updating the skills shortage methodology and advising the Government on the composition of the list going forward. The composition of the list will ultimately be a decision of the Government.