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Business Communication


This page provides information and data on the Business Communication sector, which is one component of the Business Services industry.

The Business Communication sector covers individuals employed in advertising, customer-engagement, marketing and communication roles. Although there are specialist businesses in this area, many of those in this sector are employed as part of larger organisations to perform communication tasks.

Occupations in Business Communication may be in customer-facing roles such as in call or contact centres or information desks, where emotional intelligence and customer service skills are vital. Marketing and advertising are also key elements of this sector, including the management of brands and an organisation’s social media presence. Marketing Practitioners manage the communication and messaging of an organisation, including to current and prospective customers.

Nationally recognised training for Business Communication is delivered under the BSB – Business Services Training Package.

Information sourced from the Business Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

As individuals in the Business Communication sector are employed in a large range of industries, it is difficult to accurately measure the employment level in this sector. Key occupations in this sector have been used above to gain an understanding of employment trends.

Employment levels in key occupations in this sector increased gradually between 2000 and 2019, with a strong rise of Advertising and Marketing Professionals between 2014 and 2019. Employment for this occupation is expected to rise up to 2024. The other key occupations in this industry, Call or Contact Centre and Customer Service Managers and Call or Contact Centre Workers are projected to have relatively steady employment levels over the same period.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments and completions in Business Communication-related qualifications decreased between 2015 and 2017, but in 2018 enrolments have increased again to around 25,200. In 2018, the highest number of enrolments in this sector were at the certificate III and certificate IV levels, followed by diploma and above. The field of Customer Engagement was the most common with 12930 enrolments, coming in slightly ahead of Marketing and Communication with 12270. Enrolments in the area of advertising were too low for analysis in 2018. Programs with an intended occupation of Call or Contact Centre Operator or Contract, Program and Project Administrators had the highest number of enrolments in 2018.

In 2018, the majority of enrolments in Business Communication-related qualifications were delivered by private training providers (84%). Funding for subject enrolments in this sector was split in 2018, with most enrolments funded through international fee for service (41%), followed by domestic fee for service (31%) and Commonwealth and state funded enrolments (28%). In 2018, the highest proportion of program enrolments in this sector were by students residing overseas (40%), followed by Queensland (19%) and New South Wales (19%). New South Wales delivered the largest proportion of training (44%), followed by Victoria (23%) and Queensland (19%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions in this sector declined between 2010 and 2016, although a slight increase in commencements occurred between 2015 and 2018. There were around 3,680 commencements and 1,600 completions in 2018. Apprentices and trainees in this sector tend to have intended occupations of Call or Contact Centre Operator or Customer Service Manager. The greatest number of apprentices and trainees in Business Communications-related qualifications in 2018 were reported by New South Wales (33%) and Western Australia (21%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.  

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

Job vacancy data indicates that the occupations most in demand for the Business Communication and Compliance sector are Marketing Specialist, Customer Service Manager, Market Research Analyst, Call or Contact Centre Operator and Call or Contact Centre Team Leader. The largest employers in this sector include state governments, Woolworths and two of the ‘big four’ banks. These data also show the key skills in demand from employers in the Business Communication sector are:

  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Building effective relationships
  • Detail orientated
  • Planning.

The Business Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identifies communication and organisation skills as being increasingly needed by workers to manage the changing work environment. Additionally, 43% of respondent organisations in the CommBank Business Insights National Report FY19 indicated communication and interpersonal skills as skills they are seeking to develop over the coming years, second only to adaptability and flexibility which were indicated by 46% of respondents.

The Business Services IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast explains the importance of digital change in this sector. Using online and digital media engagement strategies are common, and online media outlets are seeking innovative approaches to engage their customers. Those in this sector will need skills in using these methods, as well as being able to use technological advancements in data analytics and market research or demographic analysis. There remains an emphasis on customer experience and personalisation within the sector.

The Business Services IRC’s 2017 Skills Forecast suggests that growing trade opportunities in Asian markets will create increased need for advertising and marketing professionals with specialist knowledge of these markets and cultures.

A Smart Move from PwC suggests many roles in communications within this sector are safe from automation, putting the probability of automation at 1.5% for Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers. This may result in an increase of workers into this sector as those in other areas of the Business Services industry are displaced by automation affecting their roles.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 2251 Advertising and Marketing Professionals
    • 1492 Call or Contact Centre and Customer Service Managers
    • 5411 Call or Contact Centre Workers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 November 2018

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit
    • 2251 Advertising and Marketing Professional,
    • 1492 Call or Contact Centre and Customer Service Managers
    • 5411 Call or Contact Centre Workers, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.                                                                                                        

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • BSA Administration and BSB Business Services Training Packages
  • Advertising
    • BSB40107 - Certificate IV in Advertising
    • BSB40115 - Certificate IV in Advertising
    • BSB40601 - Certificate IV in Business (Advertising)
    • BSB50107 - Diploma of Advertising
    • BSB50115 - Diploma of Advertising
    • BSB60107 - Advanced Diploma of Advertising
    • BSB60110 - Advanced Diploma of Advertising
    • BSB60115 - Advanced Diploma of Advertising
  • Customer Engagement
    • BSB20207 - Certificate II in Customer Contact
    • BSB20211 - Certificate II in Customer Contact
    • BSB20215 - Certificate II in Customer Engagement
    • BSB30207 - Certificate III in Customer Contact
    • BSB30211 - Certificate III in Customer Contact
    • BSB30215 - Certificate III in Customer Engagement
    • BSB40307 - Certificate IV in Customer Contact
    • BSB40311 - Certificate IV in Customer Contact
    • BSB40312 - Certificate IV in Customer Contact
    • BSB40315 - Certificate IV in Customer Engagement
    • BSB50311 - Diploma of Customer Contact
    • BSB50315 - Diploma of Customer Engagement
  • Marketing and Communication
    • BSB40701 - Certificate IV in Business (Marketing)
    • BSB41307 - Certificate IV in Marketing
    • BSB41315 - Certificate IV in Marketing
    • BSB42415 - Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication
    • BSB51207 - Diploma of Marketing
    • BSB51215 - Diploma of Marketing
    • BSB52415 - Diploma of Marketing and Communication
    • BSB60507 - Advanced Diploma of Marketing
    • BSB60515 - Advanced Diploma of Marketing
    • BSB61315 - Advanced Diploma of Marketing and Communication.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

BSA – Administration and BSB – Business Services Training Packages apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions 
  • 2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Business Services IRC’s 2019 IRC Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2019, Labour Insight Real-time Labour Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2019,

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2016 and June 2019 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below. ANZSCO occupations have been used as industry filters because they provide more relevant job vacancy data for this sector.

  • Generic skills/Occupations
    • 2251 Advertising and Marketing Professionals
    • 1492 Call or Contact Centre and Customer Service Managers
    • 5411 Call or Contact Centre Workers
  • Employers
    • 225113 Marketing Specialist
    • 149212 Customer Services Manager
    • 225112 Market Research Analyst
    • 54112 Call or Contact Centre Operator
    • 541111 Call or Contact Centre Team Leader.
Updated: 31 Mar 2020
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