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Many small businesses across Queensland identify workforce skills and capability development as a key challenge as they grapple with the impacts of the pandemic and significant shifts in the way businesses operate.

This is the focus of Jobs Queensland’s latest report Future work for small business: Skills, capabilities and potential, which builds upon the well-received Future Work, future jobs: Preparing Queensland for the evolution of work, released in 2019. This earlier research identified small business skills and capability development as an important element to increasing small business productivity into the next decade.

As a key stakeholder in the small business sector in Queensland, I invite you to peruse the enclosed copy of Future work for small business: skills, capabilities and potential.

This report examines the importance of skills and capability development to supporting small business recovery and growth in Queensland. It finds Queensland small businesses need to have ongoing access to practical opportunities to develop their capability and skills in six skill and capability areas. These areas include finance, human resources, marketing, leadership and management and digital and data skills as well skills specific to the business and its operations.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of businesses and individuals being able and willing to learn new skills and adapt old practises in the face of rapid change. Supporting and encouraging small businesses to develop the skills and capabilities that enable them to reach their full potential will be vital to support Queensland’s recovery in the short-term and competitiveness in the long term.

The demand for skills, like the Queensland economy, is more dynamic than ever. One-size-fits-all approaches to skills and capability development for small business will not be effective. Approaches must be adaptable, multi-faceted and coordinated to meet the varying needs of small businesses spanning all industry sectors and regions.

Industry and regional organisations can play an important role in engaging, partnering and supporting initiatives that promote skills and capability development for small businesses.

I invite you to consider your role in supporting Queensland’s vital and vibrant small business sector to maximise its potential in the Queensland economy. We welcome you to share your thoughts with us.

If you would like to talk further about this report or any of the other Jobs Queensland reports, please contact Joshua Rayner, Executive Director, Jobs Queensland Secretariat by phone 07 3294 4706 or email

Download report.