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Business Communication

Overview

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.

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

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 2001 and 2021. Advertising and Marketing Professionals more than doubled between 2014 and 2021, and are projected to rise again by 2025. The employment level of Call or Contact Centre and Customer Service Managers is projected to decline by 40%, from 44,700 in 2021 to 26,700 in 2025. Call or Contact Centre Workers have had steady employment levels since 2018 and are projected to remain that way to 2025.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments and completions in Business Communication-related qualifications have fluctuated between 2016 and 2020 and declined overall during this period. Enrolments declined from 27,090 in 2019 to 25,630 in 2020. Completions also declined from 7,920 in 2019 to 7,600 in 2020.

In 2020, the highest number of enrolments in this sector were at the certificate IV level, followed by certificate III and diploma or higher levels. The field of Marketing and Communication was the most common with 15,720 enrolments, coming in ahead of Customer Engagement with 9,910. Programs with an intended occupation of Contract, Program and Project Administrators or Call or Contact Centre Operator had the highest number of enrolments in 2020.

In 2020, the majority of enrolments in Business Communication-related qualifications were delivered by private training providers (86%). Funding for subject enrolments in this sector was split in 2020, with most enrolments funded through international fee for service (47%), followed by domestic fee for service (33%) and Commonwealth and state funding (20%). In 2020, almost half of all program enrolments in this sector were by students residing overseas (48%), followed by New South Wales (20%) and Victoria (11%).

New South Wales delivered the largest proportion of training (51%), followed by Victoria (25%) and Queensland (12%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions in this sector declined overall between 2011 and 2020, although slight increases occurred in commencements between 2015 and 2018 and completions between 2017 and 2019. There were approximately 3,300 commencements and 1,430 completions in 2020. 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 2020 were reported by New South Wales (41%) and Victoria (25%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

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
  • Detail-orientated
  • Building effective relationships
  • Planning.

The skills and capability needs of small businesses are diverse. Electronic invoicing and social media marketing are now essential for many small businesses. In The Future Work for Small Business: Skills, Capabilities and Potential, Marketing was identified as one of the five high-level skills and capability development areas needed by small businesses across Queensland.

In Impact of COVID-19 on Australian Business: A Joint ACCI-UniSA Survey, businesses reported that they needed new staff who could provide enhanced marketing skills that are adapted for an online communication environment. Small businesses reported having to organise better communication that was regular and engaging of staff working at home or remotely during the ongoing pandemic. For firms already expanding their online communication and big data platforms the pandemic has simply sharpened their motivation to keep focused on new technologies to innovate and maintain their competitive edge.

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 TAFE Enterprise white paper Soft Skills vs Hard Skills identifies soft skills such as communication skills as an ongoing need throughout many business areas. The ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues is identified as being important for employees in various industries.

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.

Digital transformation and the accelerating speed with which technology and automation will continue to evolve gives us the chance to overcome many of our geographical challenges. In The Learning Country: Digital Transformation Skills Strategy, it is acknowledged that whilst digital transformation maybe synonymous with technology, it's those inherent human skills like communication skills which can't be replicated by an algorithm that will future-proof our workforce and are now essential to build.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 2251 Advertising and Marketing Professionals
    • 1492 Call or Contact Centre and Customer Service Managers
    • 5411 Call or Contact Centre Workers.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit selected occupations, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter
    • 2251 Advertising and Marketing Professionals
    • 1492 Call or Contact Centre and Customer Service Managers
    • 5411 Call or Contact Centre Workers.

                                                                                                                                               

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
    • BSB50307 - Diploma of Customer Contact
    • BSB50311 - Diploma of Customer Contact
    • BSB50315 - Diploma of Customer Engagement.
  • Marketing and Communication
    • BSB40701 - Certificate IV in Business (Marketing)
    • BSB40820 - Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication
    • BSB41307 - Certificate IV in Marketing
    • BSB41315 - Certificate IV in Marketing
    • BSB42415 - Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication
    • BSB50620 - Diploma of Marketing and Communication
    • BSB50701 - Diploma of Business (Marketing)
    • BSB51207 - Diploma of Marketing
    • BSB51215 - Diploma of Marketing
    • BSB52415 - Diploma of Marketing and Communication
    • BSB60507 - Advanced Diploma of Marketing
    • BSB60515 - Advanced Diploma of Marketing
    • BSB60520 - Advanced Diploma of Marketing and Communication
    • 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:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 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:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions 
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

 

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2021, Labour Insight Real-time Labour Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2021, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2018 and June 2021 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 Service Manager
    • 225112 Market Research Analyst
    • 54112 Call or Contact Centre Operator
    • 541111 Call or Contact Centre Team Leader.
Updated: 26 Oct 2021
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