Australia’s overall performance in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) ranges from average to very good. However, three million adults, representing one-fifth of the working age population, have low literacy and/or numeracy skills. Building Skills for All in Australia describes the characteristics of the low-skilled and discusses the consequences that low skills have on economic and social development for both individuals and Australian society. The review examines the strengths of the Australian skills system, highlighting the strong basic skills found in the migrant population, widespread proficiency in use of ICT and the positive role of workplaces in skills development. The study explores, moreover, the challenges facing the skills system and what can be done to enhance basic skills through education, training or other workplace measures. One of a series of studies on low basic skills, the review presents new analyses of PIAAC data and concludes with a series of policy recommendations. These include: increasing participation of women in STEM fields, addressing underperformance of post-secondary VET students and preventing drop-out, improving pre-apprenticeships, enhancing mathematics provision within secondary education and tackling poor access to childcare facilities for young mothers.
This report contains the 2017 Peer Review Report on the Exchange of Information on Request of Australia.
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Australia’s working-age employment rate (66% in the first quarter of 2017) substantially exceeds the OECD average (61%), and the unemployment rate (5.8%) remains slightly below the OECD average (6.1%).
The tax burden on labour income is expressed by the tax wedge, which is a measure of the net tax burden on labour income borne by the employee and the employer.
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Australia had the 28th lowest tax wedge among the 35 OECD member countries in 2016. The country occupied the same position in 2015. The average single worker in Australia faced a tax wedge of 28.6% in 2016 compared with the OECD average of 36.0%.
These country specific notes provide figures and commentary from the Taxation and Skills publication that examines how tax policy can encourage skills development in OECD countries.
Giving people better opportunities to participate actively in the labour market improves well-being. It also helps countries to cope with rapid population ageing by mobilising more fully each country’s potential labour resources. Weak labour market attachment of some groups in society reflects a range of barriers to working or moving up the jobs ladder. This report on Australia is the third country study published in a series of reports looking into strategies to encourage greater labour market participation of all groups in society with a special focus on the most disadvantaged. Labour market and activation policies are well developed in Australia. However, the gap in employment rates is still considerable for some groups of the population, including women with young children, disadvantaged youth, people with disability, people with mental health problems and the indigenous population. This report discusses the size of the gap and the - often multiple - barriers underlying low labour market participation of these groups, and it provides a non-exhaustive number of good practice policies and measures from other OECD countries which could guide Australia's policy development in the coming years.
Further structural reform is required to raise productivity growth through a better climate for business and stronger R&D outcomes.
As part of the STI Outlook 2016, the OECD has released policy profiles by country. These include cross-country analyses that draw on the first joint EC-OECD survey on STI policies. They focus on major STI policy areas, instruments and trends.
This publication provides detailed country notes on Value Added Tax/Goods and Services Tax (VAT/GST) and excise duty rates in OECD member countries.