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Data analysis helps the New South Wales Department of Industry to map modern career paths

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Data analysis helps the New South Wales Department of Industry to map modern career paths

This project opens up for the first time the prospect of re-imagining on a large scale the opportunities that workers have to move between jobs based on their skill capabilities. It also allows policy-makers to understand the skills for which employers are actually looking and how they match with the training on offer. The possible applications for the community, labour markets and governments are enormous.
Graeme Plato executive director of skills policy, enablers & analytics, New South Wales (NSW) Department of Industry

The NSW Department of Industry is responsible for ensuring the state has the highly skilled workforce it needs to prosper.

The department was seeking new ways to map career pathways

Traditional ways of thinking about the way people form skills and develop their career were becoming outmoded as the labour market evolved. This left prospective students struggling to find useful information about their training, study and work options. The Department of Industry sought Nous’ help to find frameworks to analyse data and think about skills and employment.

Cutting-edge data revealed connections

Nous used proprietary data from Burning Glass to help the Department of Industry dive deep into career pathways. Burning Glass mines data on 7.4 million job advertisements from Australia and New Zealand to create insights into talent supply and demand. Specifically, Nous:

  1. used five years of data to analyse occupations’ skill requirements: using a machine learning algorithm we grouped similar occupations to define 20 clusters of occupations, then analysed social networks to identify common re-skilling pathways and progressions between occupations
  2. analysed text to apply a common skills taxonomy to job advertisements and to training package qualifications, enabling the exploration of how qualifications aligned with employers’ needs as expressed in job advertisement.

Design-and-artistry-cluster-career-progressions

Nous consequently delivered a dynamic digital platform that allows users to understand at a glance the connections between career paths and associated education requirements, salaries and entry-level opportunities.

Data will keep users informed and shape funding decisions

The NSW Department of Industry will use the insights from Nous’ cluster analysis to inform students and jobseekers and make policy decisions about vocational education funding and qualification reform.

What you can learn from the NSW Department of Industry

  • New sources of data can provide rich detail on the changing labour market.
  • The right analytical tools and method are essential to gain insight from large datasets.
  • Delivery of projects as interactive web tools enables multiple perspectives and enduring value of analysis.

Key people in this project

All people

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