flinders uni logo

FAQs about Workforce Development

  1. Isn't workforce development just another word for education and training or staff development?
  2. How can I identify the workforce needs of my organisation?
  3. Where can I find out about training options in the addictions/drug and alcohol field?
  4. Where can I obtain further information about education and training in Australia? 
  5. What is the difference between workforce development and workplace training?

Isn't workforce development just another word for education and training or staff development?

The focus of education, training and staff development is much narrower than that of workforce development. Education, training and staff development focus on factors that impact on the individual worker, which addresses only a fraction of applicable factors. Workforce development is still concerned with innovative and effective ways to improve efficacy of education and training. Education, training and staff development are necessary, but not sufficient, to achieve behaviour and organisational change. Workforce development has a broad focus. It starts at the highest level of the systems surrounding the workforce. Workforce development incorporates policies, systems and structures which create and sustain the work environment. 

How can I identify the workforce needs of my organisation?

  • identify/measure (future) goals and activities
  • within an organisation, determine what information, priority or program changes generate demand for AOD services
  • describe the organisational competencies required to achieve the goals and implement action
  • describe the competency set required by the workforce of the future.

Social needs, rather than staff as providers, are at the heart of this approach. This entails:

  • defining the services the public need
  • determining the skills and competencies needed to deliver these services
  • deriving both the numbers and types of staff required to satisfy competencies to deliver services at the organisational/program level
  • matching actual positions with competencies and identifying gaps
  • link to training and education policies (Ridoutt et al, 2002). 

Where can I find out about training options in the addictions/drug and alcohol field?

Please refer to the AOD Relevant Education and Training section on this website. 

Where can I obtain further information about education and training in Australia?

Please refer to the Education and Training in Australia page on this website. 

What is the difference between workforce development and workplace training?

Workplace training is one of a broad range of workforce development strategies. It refers to training that occurs in the workplace. In contrast, workforce development encompasses a broad range of additional strategies, including policy, resource allocation, structural and systemic change, mentoring, education and  training.