1504.0 - Methodological News, Jun 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2002   
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To undertake the ABS analysis program, we need a very diverse range of skills - not just a knowledge of modelling and other techniques, but also some understanding of the key concepts and frameworks that underlie social and economic statistics, and an appreciation of the ways statistics are applied in policy-making, business planning and research.

The objective of our 'skill audit' is to assess the supply of key analytical and associated skills. The findings from the audit are confronted with our assessment of demand (the skills needed to undertake the ABS analysis program). An understanding of current (or impending) gaps in our skill mix helps us plan our training activities for the coming year. It also helps us plan the knowledge-sharing collaborations we might form with ABS subject matter experts, other government agencies or universities. And the intelligence gathered in this way may guide our staff when they are negotiating their individual development plans.

The branch ran a pilot version of the skill audit in 2001. Based on feedback from participants and from other ABS colleagues, a new-look skill questionnaire was designed early this year, and our Skill Audit 2002 was conducted recently. Staff were asked to indicate their current competency and their needs for training across about 50 skills, grouped broadly as follows:

  • Core knowledge of the ABS business (e.g. families of statistics, data collections)
  • Core technical skills (e.g. regression modelling, SAS)
  • Personal and management skills (e.g. project and performance management, communication, career paths)
  • Specific technical skills (e.g. index theory, logistic regression, multi-level modelling)
  • Knowledge of specific families of socioeconomic statistics (e.g. labour, prices, productivity)

The results are now being analysed and will be presented to the branch in the near future.

For more information about the methods or findings of our skill audit, please contact Ravi Ravindiran on (02) 6252 7039.

Email: ravi.ravindiran@abs.gov.au