Teamwork and Communication

Skills for Australia is leading the development of training in the cross sector skills areas of Teamwork and Communication.

Why Teamwork and Communication skills matter

Teamwork and Communication skills underpin virtually all work performed in an organisation. Employees who possess well-developed Teamwork and Communication skills are highly demanded by employers, as these skills enable enable them to work more effectively with others, attain new skills faster, and work effectively with a broader range of people. This translates into better outcomes for the organisation.

The importance of Teamwork and Communication skills is widely recognised across a broad range of organisations, in practically every industry. Employers are increasingly ascribing greater value to teamwork and communication skills during the hiring process, in comparison to technical skills. Furthermore, employers are investing time and money in developing the Teamwork and Communication skills of their existing workforce.

Our initial analysis identified approximately 25 industries, including Automotive, Business Services, Education, Retail Services, Maritime and Public Safety, that have skills needs for teamwork and/or communication skills.  The sector specific training in these industries were found to have vast similarities between them, conveying the need for training that recognises the importance of cross sector skills and also encourages the use of common training products that can be contextualised to various industries.

About the Teamwork and Communication Cross Sector Project

The purpose of this project is to provide an evidence-based case and industry support for common ‘Teamwork’ and ‘Communication’ units that can be used across multiple industries. This cross sector project involves a review of current and emerging developments in teamwork and communication skills, and related skills needs shared by multiple industries. Whilst there is no formal Case for Change for this cross sector project, in 2016, PwC’s Skills for Australia submitted a Work and Participation Bank proposal in response to the opportunity to ratify existing teamwork and communication related units in the national VET system. It is expected that this project will result in a significant reduction in duplication across the national VET system, and help to deliver a future fit workforce to organisations across multiple industries.

Project overview

Work on the Case for Endorsement commenced in July 2017 and involved:

  • Establishment of a dedicated Teamwork and Communication Project Reference Group (PRG), consisting of various Industry Reference Committee (IRC) members from a diverse range of industries;
  • Extensive desktop research to understand the what is happening both here and internationally (best and better practice), what training already exists, and the evidence base to develop cross sector training;
  • Nationwide consultations with industry and stakeholders from August to October 2017 across a range of industries, geographies and stakeholder types to hear different perspectives (including industry, government bodies, training providers and subject matter experts);
  • Development of draft training products (3 new ‘communication’ units of competency and 2 new ‘teamwork’ units of competency that can be applied across multiple industries); and
  • Preliminary quality assurance, editorial and equity reviews, including an initial review of draft training products by the eight state/territory training authorities.

What’s next?

The Teamwork and Communication cross sector project was put on hold in December 2017 until further guidance could be provided on the housing of common cross sector units in Australia’s national VET system. The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) have agreed to implement interim arrangements to house new cross sector training products in the most relevant training package, as determined by the developing Project Reference Group. As such, over the coming months, we will work under the direction of the existing Teamwork and Communication Project Reference Group and the nominated Industry Reference Committee (yet to be determined) to finalise and submit the Teamwork and Communication Case for Endorsement. This Case for Endorsement is due to be submitted to the Department in December 2018. If approved by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), the proposed new cross sector units will be publicly available for download from the National Register.

How can you get involved?

To stay updated about the project’s progress, you can subscribe to our website. For general enquiries and feedback, email us any time at