Data Guide

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The data guide provides guidance on how to use potential sources of information within the ISFs, and how to assess the sufficiency of evidence for training product changes.


Different data are appropriate for different purposes. The sections below outline the different cases where data may help to support submissions. These cases relate specifically to the setting of industry context and providing evidence of unmet skills needs.

You may not need to consider all the key metrics below or provide data for every metric. Rather, the tool seeks to ensure that the data you include builds a coherent narrative around your industry skill needs to support your submission to the AISC.

How to use the tool

Use the Data Guide to make sure you provide the right level and type of quantitative evidence as part of your ISF.

After the data has been collected, the IRC and SSO work together to explore the relevance to your industry and the need to include them in your ISF. This discussion should examine what the data indicates about skill needs and highlight areas to explore with industry stakeholders.

The results are an input into the Industry Engagement Guide.

Industry Context

The table below (Resource Two) sets out key quantitative data that may need to be included within ISFs to provide industry context. The relevance column provides information about why and when to consider each contextual factor.

Contextual factor

Key metrics



Employed persons

Employment growth

Qualification level of employees

Specific qualification held by employees

To understand the scale of impact that training may have on workforce (e.g. if there is a large workforce that is qualified through certificates).

These data are most useful when presented to demonstrate the scale of uptake of qualifications, rather than as a general descriptive analysis of the sector.


Count of businesses

Business structures

Business locations

To understand the extent to which businesses may require training package training, as opposed to training in-house.

Business types may also provide an indication of the type of training that might be most appropriate (e.g. qualifications versus sub-qualification delivery).

Business counts may also provide insight into the complexity of the industry (e.g. the numbers of stakeholders who need to be consulted).

Economic contribution

Value added

To highlight the economic importance of the workforce. Economic contribution can help to communicate the potential economic consequences of not having appropriate skills within the workforce.




Number of students

Number of enrolments

Students by provider type

Student demographics

Student reasons for training

To understand the current uptake of training, and reasons for training by students. This can contribute to understanding how training is used within an industry. Alternatively, examination of student training reasons could demonstrate that training products are not fit for purpose because they do not provide enough value to potential students or employers.

In either case, data should be supported by direct industry feedback.

Training providers

Number of providers

Provider sector (TAFE, private etc)

To understand the scope of current training delivery, likely stakeholders impacted by changes to training products, and scale of activity.

This may have an impact in the type of training products that are best suited to the sector (for example, highly complex training may not be suitable in sectors where training is primarily delivered by small, private training organisations).


Training products

Number of products by type

Enrolments by product

To understand which types of products are of value to industry and students (similar to the student analysis).

Training product information should also be included in training product mapping - Refer to the Mapping Tool



Workforce demographics





Work status (FT/PT)

To understand where demographics contribute to incentives that employees may have to undertake training or employers to invest in training (e.g. part time employees may be less inclined to invest in training).

Additional resources

The National Skills Commission has developed tools and reports that support labour market analysis and skills forecasting at an industry, occupation and regional level. Information is also available on current and emerging skill needs and emerging occupations. See the Labour Market Information Portal and Job Outlook website.

Identifying evidence of unmet needs

Quantitative data can assist in identifying if there are any issues with current training products. The data sources in the table below can help shape discussions with industry and identify where there are unmet skill needs. You may also need to consider other explanatory factors like those listed below.

Indicator of unmet need from training


Possible other factors

Low training uptake

Training activity data (NCVER)

State/territory agencies (intra-year reporting of government funded activity)

Low training profitability / or low or no subsidy

Poor employment opportunities

Industry size

Highly specific area of competency

Limited need for qualifications or the use of informal or non-accredited training

Low student satisfaction / job outcomes

Student Outcomes Survey


Low quality training

Limited industry need for graduates

Excessive numbers of graduates



Low employer satisfaction

Survey of Employer Use and Views of the training system

State-based employer surveys

Low quality training

Employer expectations about non-training issues (e.g. attitudes)

Workforce supply issues



Although student and employer surveys do not typically collect data at individual training product level, data available at a higher level of aggregation (e.g. industry level) may be a suitable basis for initial industry discussions. 

The AISC does not consider some sources of data, such as the implementation of skills reforms overseas, to be suitable evidence of a need for training package changes. Rather, information about skill changes overseas may be used to support industry views about an appropriate solution to the skills challenges you have identified.