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This page provides high level information and data on the Transport industry which comprises four main industry sectors:

  • Transport and Logistics
  • Rail
  • Aviation
  • Maritime.

The Transport industry plays a key role in enabling Australia’s economic activity.  Without the capacities and capabilities provided by the Transport industry workforce no passengers or freight move.

Nationally recognised training for the Transport industry is delivered under the following training packages: AVI Aviation, MAR Maritime and TLI Transport and Logistics.

For more information and data specific to the Aviation, Maritime, Rail, and Transport and Logistics sectors please visit the respective pages.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Transport Industry Reference Committees (IRC’s)

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

Road Transport is the largest employing industry sector followed by Transport Support Services with Water Transport being the smallest. Employment levels have generally risen between the years 2000 and 2017 particularly in Transport Support Services which has seen a two and a half fold increase; the only exception being Water transport which has seen a decrease in employment levels over this time period.  The trend for increasing employment levels is projected to continue over the next 5 years until 2022, with exception of Rail Transport.

There were over 4,000 program enrolments in the Aviation Training Package during 2016 and approximately 1,450 completions. Both program enrolments and completions have increased between 2014 and 2016 however subject-only (no qualification) enrolments have decreased slightly over the same period.

The Maritime Training Package had approximately 6,250 program enrolments during 2016 and more than 3,400 completions. Both program enrolments and completions have decreased between 2014 and 2016 however subject-only (no qualification) enrolments have increased slightly over the same period.

During 2016, there were approximately 99,000 program enrolments in the Transport and Logistics Training Package and more than 20,000 completions. Both program enrolments and completions have decreased between 2014 and 2016 however subject-only (no qualification) enrolments have increased over the same period.


Industry insights on skills needs

The 2017 IRC Skills Forecast’s for the different sectors within Transport industry identify some common themes around future skill demands for the workforce including:

  • An ageing workforce will create skills gaps as existing workers retire unless the industry can attract, retain and upskill younger workers.

  • New technologies and automation are driving the need for digital skills within the industry, as well as new skills such as those required for maintenance and repair of automated equipment.

  • Advancements in driverless technology will significantly impact the workforce creating demand for new skill sets to effectively manage and operate a more automated transport and logistics network.

The 2015 E-scan by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council highlights several common challenges relating to workforce development needs within the Transport industry sectors including:

  • Sector-specific Trainers/Assessors are in shortage, as qualified candidates stay in operational positions to gain the financial benefits rather than move to lower-paid Trainer/Assessor positions.

  • An ageing workforce plus an image problem in attracting and retaining high-quality new entrants is hampering efforts to upgrade the skills base and reap the full benefits of computerised technologies.

  • New technologies and automation are changing the nature of work within the industry, with job roles increasingly requiring specialised and higher-level computer skills; problem solving; and analytic skills.

For more information on skill needs specific to each Transport industry sector please visit the respective pages.

Links and resources

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia

Association of Tourist and Heritage Rail Australia

Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association

Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors

Australasian Railway Association

Australian Airports Association

Australian Business Aviation Association

Australian Commercial Marine Group

Australian Furniture Removers Association

Australian Helicopter Industry Association

Australian Logistics Council

Australian Marine Exports

Australian Taxi Industry Association

Australian Trucking Association

Australian Warbirds Association

Automotive Training Board – NSW

Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association

Aviation/Aerospace Australia

Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA)

Boating Industry Association

Boating Industry Association of Western Australia

Bus Industry Confederation

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia

Flight Safety Foundation

Industry Skills Advisory Council – NT

Logistics Training Council - WA

Marina Industries Association

Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL)

NT Road Transport Association

Pro Aviation

Queensland Trucking Association

Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board

Rail Track Association Australia

Recreational Aviation Australia

Regional Aviation Association of Australia

Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Australian Division

Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia

Safeskies Australia

Shipping Australia

Superyacht Australia

Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia

TDT South Australia

TDT Victoria

Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council

Victorian Transport Association

Waste, Recycling Industry Association (QLD)


Licensing/Regulatory bodies

Airservices Australia

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator

Safe Work Australia


Employee associations

Australian & International Pilots Association

Australian Federation of Air Pilots

Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union

Australian Maritime Officers Union

Australian Services Union

Flight Attendants Association of Australia

Maritime Union of Australia

National Union of Workers

Rail Tram and Bus Union

Transport Workers Union of Australia


Relevant research

2015 E-scan – Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council

A National Rail Industry Plan for the Benefit of Australia - Australasian Railway Association

Aviation Policy 2016 – The Australian Aviation Associations Forum

Aviation Safety Regulation Review (2014) – Australian Government

Aviation Workforce Skills Study (2016) – Australian Industry Standards

Improving workforce attraction and retention rates for Australian transport and logistics companies –P Kahlert (2016)

Rail – Platforms for the Future 2017-35 – Australasian Railway Association

The Economic Contribution of the Australian Maritime Industry – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

The Future of Aircraft Maintenance in Australia: Workforce Capability, Aviation Safety and Industry Development (2015) – University of NSW

Transport 2050: Lookout! Here comes the future – Ferrier Hodgson and Azurium (2017)

Value of Rail – Deloitte Access Economics

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  by ANZSIC 2 digit industry, employment projections to May 2022.

  • Road Transport
  • Rail Transport
  • Water Transport
  • Air and Space Transport
  • Transport Support Services
  • Warehousing and Storage Services.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), sex, state and territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 <>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 2 digit industry, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter
    • Road Transport
    • Rail Transport
    • Water Transport
    • Air and Space Transport
    • Transport Support Services
    • Warehousing and Storage Services.

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

  • MAR Maritime Training Package
  • AVI Aviation Training Package
  • TLI Transport and Logistics Training Package.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.


Updated: 05 Oct 2018
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