Transition and Post-School Education and Training

Publication Date



The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) funded a project in 2001 to analyse and report on industry requirements for ‘employability skills’. This project was jointly managed by the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was completed in March 2002. Employability skills were defined for the purposes of the project as ‘skills required not only to gain employment, but also to progress within an enterprise so as to achieve one’s potential and contribute successfully to enterprise strategic directions’. The project was commissioned to provide: (a) advice on possible new requirements for generic employability competencies that industry needs, or will need in the forseeable future, since the development of the Mayer key competencies; (b) clear definitions of what Australian industry and enterprises perceive as employability skills and the terminology being used to describe them; and (c) a proposed suite of employability skills and assessment and reporting options. The project also investigated industry reactions to the proposed suite and reporting options and undertook case studies involving a number of large enterprises and focus group research with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This report is based on a review of Australian and overseas policy and research literature on key employability skills. It clarifies concepts and terminology, analyses the principles and purposes of different approaches to key employability skills, develops a framework of such skills to support the fieldwork aspects of the overall project, and suggests strategies to facilitate the development of these skills more effectively within Australian education and training.

Place of Publication

Canberra, A.C.T.


Department of Education, Science and Training