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Businesses, individuals and society: Training is good for us all

By Fi Darby | 27 July 2018

When you learn more, you earn more. Did you know that by investing in upskilling your staff, your organisation could effectively improve its profitability? Did you know that by gaining higher qualifications, you can enhance your earning power?

This is great news for students, career changers and organisations in general. Whether you are the boss or part of the workforce, it’s hard to not appreciate the benefits of training and further education. Upskilling staff or yourself can have a positive impact on satisfaction, skills baseand, ultimately, business productivity.

Here, SkillsTalk will look in more detail at the facts and statistics that prove that the time to think about upskilling is now and that training ROI is actual, measurable and achievable.

How can skill training help me further my career? 

  1. A need for vocational qualifications.
  2. Improved self-esteem and social inclusion.
  3. Employees experience less absenteeism and staff turnover.
  4. Greater need for employees to upskill.

Australia’s millennial generation have got it right – taking part in skill training can lead to an increase in salary. This realisation has, over the last few years, spread across multiple age groups and, in 2016, 56% of Australians aged 15 plus held a post-school qualification with almost a quarter having completed skill training by gaining a qualification such as a Certificate, Diploma or Bachelor Degree.

career steps concept

However, if you are looking to boost your career without further education, the statistics are against you; as the popularity of post-school skills training has led to an abundance of study opportunities including a wide range of achievable and flexible online training courses. The statistics below will demonstrate why you need to take advantage of your current employer’s plans to be upskilling employees, or maybe even help them to see the benefits of training for staff.

  1. A need for vocational qualifications: In 2017, 37.2% of Australian employers had jobs that required vocational qualifications.
  2. Improved self-esteem and social inclusion: In the same year, a study by NCVER found that those who underwent training had improved self-esteem and social inclusion in the workforce, thus leading to an overall increase in employee participation.
  3. Employees experience less absenteeism and staff turnover: As training strengthens the motivation and confidence of employees, employers experience less absenteeism and staff turnover in their workforce.
  4. Greater need for employees to upskill: According to a 2018 study by McKinsey & Company, about 60% of jobs may have at least a third of their tasks automated in the future, implying a greater need for employees to upskill from their current qualifications to maintain their employability.

Can further education help me to change careers?

  1. Employers more likely to shortlist candidates.
  2. Postgraduate qualifications are becoming increasingly popular.
  3. Employees are able to discover new passions, interests and ideas.
  4. Long-term financial benefits.

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) acts as a basis for Australia’s system of educational qualifications, encompassing schools, higher education, and vocational training. There are ten levels to this framework that determine the complexity of each qualification, with 1 being the lowest in complexity (Certificate I) and 10 being the highest (Doctoral Degree).

Those who take advantage of skills training will experience a positive spike in their number of job opportunities, as between 2011 and 2016 Australian occupations in the higher skill levels (Levels 8-10, which include Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas) made about a 46% leap from 631,000 to a whopping 921,000.

changing jobs concept 

Even better news is that employers are starting to make upskilling staff a priority, and Australia’s network of further education and online training opportunities provides excellent pathways for employees to advance from lower-level quals. If you are looking at further education as a step towards a career change, we have some numbers that might help you make your mind up.

  1. Employers more likely to shortlist candidates:2018 Hays survey of over 2,000 Australians found that 77% of employers were more likely to shortlist those who have regularly upskilled.
  2. Postgraduate qualifications are becoming increasingly popular: Across Australia, postgraduate qualifications are becoming increasingly popular and, in 2016, almost 10% of Australians of working age had gained a Diploma or Advanced Diploma.
  3. Employees are able to discover new passions, interests and ideas: Training has enabled employees to discover new passions, interests, and ideas in their industry.
  4. Long-term financial benefits:2018 Hays survey of over 1,200 professionals found that 54% believed upskilling would lead to long-term financial benefits, with 5% saying it lead to an immediate salary increase within their existing role.

What are the benefits of upskilling our employees?

  1. A more satisfied and engaged workforce.
  2. Improvement in services and attracting more clients and sales.
  3. Providing the skills required for a job.
  4. Training opportunities keeps employees in their current roles.

Across Australia, rapidly changing workforce requirements mean that the recruitment of suitably skilled employees is becoming increasingly difficult. In 2017 42.1% of Australian employers surveyed reported ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ problems with recruitmentThis is a growing trend; the number had risen by 5.6% from 2015 and the main reasons given for it were, ‘a shortage of skilled people’ and ‘limited applicants’. The impact of an under-skilled workforce is diverse with the most common reported impacts (2015) being, ‘increased workload for other staff’ (80%), ‘increased operating costs’ (58.7%) and ‘difficulties in meeting customer service objectives’ (48.9%).

There is, however good news; by far the majority (75.4%) of employers were satisfied that vocational qualifications were succeeding in upskilling employees and giving the skill training that they needed to undertake their jobs to the required standard.

Here are some of the benefits of providing extra training for your staff:

  1. A more satisfied and engaged workforce: Training ROI for businesses have seen an increase in the profitability of their organisation and a more satisfied and engaged workforce due to a boost in employee morale , self-esteem, and social inclusion. Further skills training has also shown to contribute to much of the business and technological innovation in Australia’s markets.
  2. Improvement in services and attracting more clients and sales: 4% of businesses surveyed in 2017 saw a need to further train their employees to their full potential to improve their services and attract more clients and sales.
  3. Providing the skills required for a job: In 2017, 62.3% of employers stated upskilling staff and providing the skills required for a job as their top reason for including vocational qualifications as a job requirement.
  4. Training opportunities keeps employees in their current roles: 42% of the millennial generation worldwide – a demographic that represents the majority of the workforce – have shown a desire for further skills training opportunities to keep them in their current roles.

Case Study: Network Neighborhood Pty Ltd

The Melbourne-based IT company, Network Neighborhood – now officially re-named to “JB Hi-Fi Education Solutions” after having been bought by the large retail chain in 2013 – was featured in an IBSA (Innovation and Business Skills Australia) report for having undergone successful ICT training that effectively improved the company’s business and employee morale.


Photo courtesy: JB Hi-Fi Education Solutions


Being a strong supporter of vocational education for business workers, seven technicians from Network Neighborhood completed the Advanced Diploma of Information Technology in Project Management with the help of the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF). The results were nothing short of excellent for his staff as they were trained in compliance as well to be better communicators – a “soft skill” that the Education Services Co-ordinator, Gareth Bettridge, believed to be just as important as the practical skills of their technician roles.

Through this, Network Neighborhood’s employees were able to advance their skillset to further relate and reflect the company’s core values. Bettridge believes that the overall process reinforced the importance of customer focus, teamwork, and the high workforce standardsexpected of his employees.  


How does upskilling staff benefit Australian society?

  1. Increases in quality of life.
  2. Industries reliant on technical skills.
  3. Keep people in employment.
  4. Increase in income.

As we’ve seen with the statistics above, each time an individual takes up a further education opportunity, their employability and productivity increases. This makes sense, but 2016 research by Australia’s National Centre for Vocational Education Research also showed that a skilled individual is also more likely to avoid poor health, drug-related issues and criminal activitythan someone with no post-school qualifications.

If the impact of upskilling employees can change individual behaviour, then it also has a positive impact on cooperation outside the workplace and society-based values. If you need further persuasion as to the benefits of education and training for Australian society, take a look at the facts below.

  1. Increases in quality of life: Alternative modes of education can lead to increases in quality of life, social cohesion, inclusion and tolerance, social capital and participation in community service.
  2. Industries reliant on technical skills: As Vocational Education and Training opportunities increase, industries reliant on technical skills can expand, thus improving Australia’s standing in the global community.
  3. Keep people in employment: One of the key benefits of training is that it can keep people in employment as skill requirements fluctuate.
  4. Increase in income: The increase in income and therefore spending that can follow skill training are required if Australia wants to maintain a balanced and healthy economy.

work colleagues clapping after presentation

Whether you are making policy, looking at the possibilities of upskilling employees, thinking about changing your career or wanting to make improvements in your existing career, the statistics speak for themselves. Australia’s businesses need a skilled workforce and opportunities abound for those who are willing to recognise the benefits of training and upskilling staff.

So – why does this matter to me, what should I do next and how does this relate to Upskilled?

As the above statistics and research show, upskilling is an incredibly beneficial practice for both employers and employees of a business. Individuals not only widen their skillset to profit their organisation but are also able to broaden their knowledge on other professional areas that may pique their interest.

Here at Upskilled, we offer willing learners with a myriad of training opportunities to advance up their career ladder, with over 90 nationally-recognised qualifications across a variety of disciplines – from Natural Therapies to Business and Administration. Provided with flexible delivery and government funding options, students engage in their training through a customised online learning platform with dedicated, industry-experienced trainers and industry-best course materials. To browse for the course training that best suits you and your professional interests, start by checking out Upskilled’s available courses here. 

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