A National Skills Passport

Policies, Publications & Submissions - February 16, 2024

As custodians of the skills and training system and the representatives of the workers who undertake the qualifications it offers, unions are keenly interested in the Government’s considerations with regard to the development of a national skills passport. The robustness and integrity of any system that workers will use to prove their qualifications are of paramount importance to the union movement and our members. We are not in-principle opposed to the development of a skills passport which has particular design features and safeguards.

In the age of digitisation there are circumstances in which it may be useful for workers to have access to a digital record of their training – much as they may have a digital Medicare card, vaccine record or driver’s licence. It is our view that these benefits would be, though real, minor at best.

In designing the passport, we must learn the lessons of the COVIDSafe app – that we should not fall to techno-optimism and assume that, without careful design and implementation planning, the benefits of a technological solution which seem apparent at inception will necessarily be realised. A poorly designed or implemented passport has the potential to not only fail to deliver on the potential benefits of such a system but could also result in a number of significant negative outcomes. Below can be found a short outline of the features which unions believe a skills passport must have, in addition to a number of concerns which we believe should be top-of-mind for Government when designing the passport’s features.

Government should carefully consider the risks raised in this submission, alongside the tangible but not revolutionary benefits offered to workers, when making a decision about whether to commit the significant funds the development of a national skills passport would require.

The ACTU Network

Australian Unions

Whether you want to join a union, take action in campaigns, or make the most of the benefits of being a union member, Australian Unions is the place to go for information and resources.
Visit Australian Unions

Mind Your Head

We’re taking action to protect workplace mental health.
Visit Mind Your Head


Your rights at work for students and for people entering the workforce for the first time.
Visit Worksite


Information and resources for health and safety representatives and workers about how to speak up at work for health and safety.
Visit OHS

Union Aid Abroad

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is the overseas aid and development agency of the ACTU. Our work aims to build self-reliance through support to educational and training projects for workers and their organisations in the developing world.
Visit Union Aid Abroad

ACTU National Union Directory

Find who you are looking for from the who’s who of the union movement.
Visit the ACTU National Union Dictionary
Australian Council of Trade Unions

Representing Australian workers and their families.