Jobs and Skills Summit 2022: Lifting Australia’s Asian Literacy and Skills

  • Media Release

Today I will host a Roundtable on Asian Literacy and Skills in Melbourne with leaders across our community including business, education and civil society.

The Roundtable will explore the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to transform Australia’s economic and people-to-people links to Asia.

Asia’s rapid economic growth trajectory is estimated to account for over half of global GDP by 2030. Equipping our businesses and community with Asian literacy and skills will ensure we are part of this success story.

The findings and recommendations from today’s roundtable will inform our Jobs and Skills Summit on 1-2 September.

The Australian Government is committed to deeper engagement with Asia, which must be supported by strong language skills and real cultural understanding.

Our future lies in the region we share.

Yet the study of key Asian languages at the high school level is the lowest it’s been in a decade, and the proportion of Australian university students studying an Asian language has fallen by 43 per cent since 2010.

Research has also shown low levels of Asia capability on boards and senior leadership teams in Australia’s biggest companies.

We must harness the diversity of modern Australia and better utilise the skills and expertise of Asian-Australian communities - including in our institutions of engagement with the region.

I look forward to discussing with leaders how we can create positive momentum and find practical ways to support our businesses and communities to thrive in Asia.

Media enquiries

  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555