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Specialised Business Services

Overview

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

The Specialised Business Services sector includes a diverse range of activities associated with business operations. This includes quality auditing, recordkeeping, environmental management, franchising, human resources, industrial relations, international trade, legal services, library and information services, purchasing and conveyancing, and work health and safety.

Nationally recognised training for Specialised Business Services 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 Specialised Business Services 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 for Human Resource Clerks and Safety Inspectors remained relatively steady between 2001 and 2021. Employment levels for Human Resource Clerks peaked in 2006 at approximately 14,800 and were recorded at 10,300 in 2021. Employment levels for Safety Inspectors have fallen slightly since the 2001 level of 7,200 to approximately 6,200 in 2021.

The most gains during this period were seen by Transport and Despatch Clerks, increasing from 27,700 in 2001 to 37,600 in 2021, though there was more variability in this occupation than the other key occupations in the sector. Employment levels for Safety Inspectors are projected to decline by 2025, however both Transport and Despatch Clerks and Human Resource Clerks are projected to increase during this period, with the largest rise being for Transport and Despatch Clerks.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Though program enrolments in Specialised Business Services-related qualifications declined overall between 2016 and 2020, an increase in the last two years has seen enrolments rise to 31,950 in 2020. Program completions have remained relatively steady through the same period, but also rose in 2019 and 2020 to reach 11,340.

Most enrolments in this sector were at the certificate IV level, with approximately 21,190 enrolments. More than half of all enrolments in 2020 were in the area of work health and safety and environmental management with around 16,530 enrolments. Enrolments in this area predominantly had an intended occupation of Safety Inspector, but there were many other intended occupations in the sector.

In 2020, the majority of training was delivered by private training providers (63%). An exception to this was in the fields of Library and Information Services and Legal Services and Franchising, where most training was delivered by TAFE institutes (90% and 83%, respectively). Most subjects were funded through domestic fee for service (61%), with this proportion being even higher for private training providers (85%). New South Wales had the highest proportion of students enrolled in this sector in 2020 (32%), followed by Queensland (20%) and Victoria (18%).

Approximately one third of training was delivered in New South Wales (35%), followed by Queensland (28%) and Victoria (24%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements in this sector peaked in 2012 with around 2,060, but have mainly decreased since that time with a slight rise in 2020 to 570. Apprentice and trainee completions rose from 2011 to 2013, but fell every year since then to 170 in 2020. The most common intended occupations for apprentices and trainees in Specialised Business Services-related qualifications were Safety Inspector and Human Resources Clerk. The largest proportions of apprentices and trainees in-training in this sector in 2020 were reported by Victoria and Queensland, both with 23%.

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 most in demand occupations for the Specialised Business Services sector are Human Resources Clerk, Import-Export Clerk, Despatching and Receiving Clerk, Safety Inspector. The largest employers for this sector are mainly governments as well as David Jones Limited, with the New South Wales Government at the top of the list. These data also show the key skills in demand from employers in the Specialised Business Services sector are:

  • Communication skills
  • Detail-orientated
  • Organisational skills
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Excel.

The Business Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identifies work health and safety as one of the Business Services areas employment is shifting to as a result of de-industrialisation. Other job roles in this sector, particularly those of a clerical nature, are predicted to be impacted by automation in the future. Workers with specialised skills which automation cannot readily replace are expected to become more productive as automation tools increase the efficiency of their other job tasks.

The TAFE Enterprise white paper Soft Skills vs Hard Skills identifies the development of soft skills as being a contributor in helping workers adjust and retrain as the nature of jobs transforms. Soft skills such as creativity, adaptability, time management and collaboration in particular are identified in helping workers process new information.

The Business Services IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast identifies a range of trends relevant to workers in this sector. For those working in compliance and risk management, such as Quality Auditors, changes brought about by automations and digital disruption will change the nature of their jobs. There are many opportunities for streamlining in compliance because of this, but it requires businesses to be prepared to embrace new and innovative ways of approaching risk and compliance.

Legal occupations and conveyancing are also being affected by automation, the Business Services IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast relates, with many paralegal VET-related occupations at risk for disruption. The transition to e-conveyancing represents a significant shift for those working in the area and the use of these digital platforms is critical for these businesses.

In the area of human resources, the Business Services IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast details changes including workers expanding their focus to manage staff learning, internal change and the workplace culture. Those in this area are also required to be responsive to economy-wide shifts towards new skills, including the importance of soft skills.

The Business Services IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast discusses convergence in skills required for those working in information management, often in library or information services roles. Previously manual tasks now require the use of digital technologies, which in turn enables the streamlining and expansion of many existing collections. It is particularly important for workers in this area to be able to distinguish between reputable and non-reputable data sources due to the large volumes of data available.

One area predicated to grow by the Business Services IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast is work health and safety, with these workers being required across a range of industries. Skills in conducting safety audits and working with businesses to reduce health problems and injuries in the workplace are central to this field. Trained workers in this area are particularly needed in higher risk industries such as mining, manufacturing and construction.

The VET Era: Equipping Australia’s Workforce for the Future Digital Economy, a report from the CSIRO and TAFE Queensland, found that one technical skill that occupations with higher than average employment growth required was management of personnel resources. This suggests that both human resources-specific occupations and those with a human resources component are experiencing continuing growth and will need appropriate training of new entrants into these occupations to meet demand.

An analysis of priority qualifications by the South Australian Training and Skills Commission in their Report on South Australia’s Industry Priority Qualifications included a number of qualifications in this sector as ‘highest priority’ qualifications. This included those related to work health and safety, as well as library and information services. Though qualifications in this sector may see a relatively small number of yearly enrolments as compared to other Business Services sectors, there is a demand for skilled workers with Specialised Business Services-related qualifications.

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
    • 3126 Safety Inspectors
    • 5912 Transport and Despatch Clerks
    • 5994 Human Resource Clerks.

 

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
    • 3126 Safety Inspectors
    • 5912 Transport and Despatch Clerks
    • 5994 Human Resource Clerks.

                                                                                                                                               

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
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Governance
    • BSB40220 - Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Governance
    • BSB50220 - Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Governance.
  • Human Resources and Industrial Relations
    • BSB40420 - Certificate IV in Human Resource Management
    • BSB40801 - Certificate IV in Business (Human Resources)
    • BSB41007 - Certificate IV in Human Resources
    • BSB41013 - Certificate IV in Human Resources
    • BSB41015 - Certificate IV in Human Resources
    • BSB41804 - Certificate IV in Unionism
    • BSB41807 - Certificate IV in Unionism and Industrial Relations
    • BSB51804 - Diploma of Unionism
    • BSB51807 - Diploma of Unionism and Industrial Relations.
  • International Trade
    • BSB30607 - Certificate III in International Trade
    • BSB30612 - Certificate III in International Trade
    • BSB30615 - Certificate III in International Trade
    • BSB41107 - Certificate IV in International Trade
    • BSB41115 - Certificate IV in International Trade.
  • Legal Services and Franchising
    • BSA30200 - Certificate III in Business (Legal Administration)
    • BSA40200 - Certificate IV in Business (Legal Services)
    • BSA30320 - Certificate III in Legal Services
    • BSB40110 - Certificate IV in Legal Services
    • BSB40620 - Certificate IV in Legal Services
    • BSB40707 - Certificate IV in Franchising
    • BSB40715 - Certificate IV in Franchising
    • BSB41207 - Certificate IV in Legal Services
    • BSB42215 - Certificate IV in Legal Services
    • BSB50110 - Diploma of Legal Services
    • BSB50507 - Diploma of Franchising
    • BSB50515 - Diploma of Franchising
    • BSB50720 - Diploma of Paralegal Services
    • BSB51007 - Diploma of Legal Services
    • BSB51704 - Diploma of Business (Franchising)
    • BSB52215 - Diploma of Legal Services.
  • Library and Information Services
    • BSB30420 - Certificate III in Library and Information Services
    • BSB31215 - Certificate III in Library and Information Services
    • BSB40720 - Certificate IV in Library and Information Services
    • BSB42115 - Certificate IV in Library and Information Services
    • BSB50520 - Diploma of Library and Information Services
    • BSB52115 - Diploma of Library and Information Services
    • CUL20104 - Certificate II in Library-Information Services
    • CUL20111 - Certificate II in Information and Cultural Services
    • CUL20199 - Certificate II in Library and Information Services
    • CUL20204 - Certificate II in Museum Practice
    • CUL20299 - Certificate II in Museum Practice
    • CUL30104 - Certificate III in Library-Information Services
    • CUL30111 - Certificate III in Information and Cultural Services
    • CUL30199 - Certificate III in Library and Information Services
    • CUL30204 - Certificate III in Museum Practice
    • CUL30299 - Certificate III in Museum Practice
    • CUL40104 - Certificate IV in Library-Information Services
    • CUL40111 - Certificate IV in Library, Information and Cultural Services
    • CUL40199 - Certificate IV in Library and Information Services
    • CUL40204 - Certificate IV in Museum Practice
    • CUL40299 - Certificate IV in Museum Practice
    • CUL50104 - Diploma of Library-Information Services
    • CUL50111 - Diploma of Library and Information Services
    • CUL50199 - Diploma of Library and Information Services
    • CUL50204 - Diploma of Museum Practice
    • CUL50299 - Diploma of Museum Practice
    • CUL60104 - Advanced Diploma of Library-Information Services
    • CUL60199 - Advanced Diploma of Library and Information Services
    • CUL60204 - Advanced Diploma of Museum Practice
    • CUL60299 - Advanced Diploma of Museum Practice.
  • Purchasing and Conveyancing
    • BSB41607 - Certificate IV in Purchasing
    • BSB41615 - Certificate IV in Purchasing
    • BSB41618 - Certificate IV in Business (Procurement)
    • BSB51507 - Diploma of Purchasing
    • BSB51515 - Diploma of Purchasing
    • BSB51518 - Diploma of Business (Procurement)
    • BSB52015 - Diploma of Conveyancing
    • BSB60220 - Advanced Diploma of Conveyancing
    • BSB61115 - Advanced Diploma of Conveyancing.
  • Quality Auditing
    • BSB50920 - Diploma of Quality Auditing
    • BSB51607 - Diploma of Quality Auditing
    • BSB51615 - Diploma of Quality Auditing.
  • Recordkeeping
    • BSB30807 - Certificate III in Recordkeeping
    • BSB30815 - Certificate III in Recordkeeping
    • BSB41707 - Certificate IV in Recordkeeping
    • BSB41715 - Certificate IV in Recordkeeping
    • BSB51707 - Diploma of Recordkeeping
    • BSB51715 - Diploma of Recordkeeping
    • BSB60807 - Advanced Diploma of Recordkeeping
    • BSB60815 - Advanced Diploma of Recordkeeping.
  • Work Health and Safety and Environmental Management
    • BSB30707 - Certificate III in Occupational Health and Safety
    • BSB30712 - Certificate III in Work Health and Safety
    • BSB30715 - Certificate III in Work Health and Safety
    • BSB30719 - Certificate III in Work Health and Safety
    • BSB41407 - Certificate IV in Occupational Health and Safety
    • BSB41412 - Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
    • BSB41415 - Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
    • BSB41419 - Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
    • BSB41604 - Certificate IV in Occupational Health and Safety
    • BSB42315 - Certificate IV in Environmental Management and Sustainability
    • BSB51307 - Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety
    • BSB51312 - Diploma of Work Health and Safety
    • BSB51315 - Diploma of Work Health and Safety
    • BSB51319 - Diploma of Work Health and Safety
    • BSB51604 - Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety
    • BSB60607 - Advanced Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety
    • BSB60612 - Advanced Diploma of Work Health and Safety
    • BSB60615 - Advanced Diploma of Work Health and Safety
    • BSB60619 - Advanced Diploma of Work Health and Safety.

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.

  • General skills / Occupations
  • 5994 Human Resource Clerks
  • 3126 Safety Inspectors
  • 5912 Transport and Despatch Clerks.
  • Employers
  • 599411 Human Resources Clerk
  • 591212 Import-Export Clerk
  • 591211 Despatching and Receiving Clerk
  • 312611 Safety Inspector.
Updated: 29 Oct 2021
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