Developing transferable skills to promote job mobility and meet Victoria’s workforce needs

Transferable skills allow workers to take up new job opportunities and meet the changing needs of the economy.

Job mobility

The capacity for workers to move between good jobs is an attribute of healthy workforces – whether in an organisation, an industry or economy-wide. The sharp increase in the proportion of employed Victorians who changed jobs over the past year reflects a strengthening labour market.

Job mobility also underpins the efficient operation of the labour market and improves productivity by allowing for better job matching to fit the preferences and skills of workers (Black S and Chow E (2022) Job Mobility in Australia during the COVID-19 Pandemic(opens in a new window), RBA Bulletin, June).

In general, opportunity to change jobs favours those with strongly recognised skills such as professions and trades or deep experience and expertise in a field. Even though digitisation is changing many roles, the higher level of learning involved in entry to these job roles opens
up other related roles.

There is less insurance of this type for people with lower levels of learning or those with formal skills tightly prescribed to an occupation. Adjustments within industries can leave workers at a disadvantage and often in need of support to transition to new work.

Increased participation in further education and training is still a strong foundation for a healthy Victorian workforce. At the same time, it is important that workers trained through the vocational education and training (VET) sector are prepared for changes in work and industries and have the transferable skills and broader learning that support mobility throughout a career.

Vocational education needs to develop knowledge and skills that are relevant today and transferable to the jobs of the future.

Over the year to February 2023, 9.2% of employed Victorians (327,800) changed jobs. This is above pre-pandemic trends.

Of those that changed jobs, around half changed industry three in 10 changed occupation (ABS, Job mobility(opens in a new window), February 2023).