New report identifies opportunity to strengthen VET qualifications in the wake of generative AI

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

A new report by the Future Skills Organisation (FSO) and Mandala Partners proposes an approach to help identify the finance, technology and business Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications most likely to be impacted by generative artificial intelligence (AI). 

The Building an AI-Enabled Workforce: Priority Framework report suggests that qualifications in marketing and communications, conveyancing, and insurance broking are highly exposed to the impact of generative AI.

“As the Jobs and Skills Council for Australia’s finance, technology, and business sectors, we are keen to understand how the training system needs to respond to the impact of generative AI and when,” says CEO of the Future Skills Organisation Patrick Kidd OBE OAM.

“This report helps to identify which areas we should look at first.” 

- Advertisement -

Mr Kidd told EducationbDaily “we need to better understand the implications of generative AI for the workforce and the skills needed”.  

“It’s a massive area with the potential to impact so much of what is done currently. This research helps to guide us to a sensible starting point by focusing on those areas which are most impacted.”

He says that the finance, tech and business sectors are most likely to be impacted, adding that “it’s now time to collaborate with industry, training providers, and government to determine the best way to respond from an education and training perspective”.

“The learner must be at the forefront of our thinking to ensure they can access meaningful work with valued skills,” he told EducationDaily.

- Advertisement -

“While many training providers are already moving into this space to deliver AI training; TAFE NSW and the Institute of Applied Technology Digital are an example, the education and training system must be able to incorporate new technologies such as AI into their formal qualifications and training.”

“Things are already changing, and it is especially encouraging to see the Government’s focus on the qualifications reform to create a simpler, more relevant, and agile training system which reflects the changing needs of the economy. Generative AI and digital capability are skills needed across the population; our focus is on learning from best practice and the development of simple scalable solutions which can be quickly implemented.”

Exploring impact on finance, technology and business sectors

The report draws on the FSO’s previous research that identified the generative AI exposure of occupations and VET qualifications across the finance, technology and business sectors, as well as the types of skills most likely to be impacted by generative AI. 

“A recurring theme during our recent National Forum on skills in the finance, tech and business sectors was the need to recognise the impact of emerging technologies like generative AI in our education and skilling programmes.  One in five Australians work in these sectors; it’s important we are responsive to these changes,” Mr Kidd says. 

“This research helps to identify the highest priority areas for attention when we collaborate with training providers and industry to help ensure our VET qualifications reflect the needs of the economy.” 

- Advertisement -

Leading economic research consulting firm Mandala Partners conducted the research, with Director Tom McMahon recounting the methodology. 

“We expanded on our earlier research with the Future Skills Organisation, which assessed the exposure to generative AI in VET courses in finance, technology, and business. This report expands on that analysis by creating a prioritisation methodology that determines a qualification’s relative economic impact. This approach can assist the FSO focus their efforts on the most important areas,” Mr McMahon.

He told EducationDaily that another project is currently underway with FSO to understand how generative AI is practically being adopted by Australian businesses.

“The sector will be able to draw on this work to update training programs, whilst continuously engaging with stakeholders for feedback,” he says.

Mr Kidd believes “our industries are at the vanguard of innovation, and generative AI is already making a huge influence on the workplace”.

- Advertisement -

“However, it is still early days, and we need to better grasp what this means for the skills required. There’s a lot to ponder. This framework will help us identify the topics we should focus on initially. And this will assist drive the results that are likely to have the largest impact.”

Share This Article
Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]