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Jobs Queensland’s Future work, future jobs research identified small business skills and capability development as an important element to increasing small business productivity into the next decade.

Future work for small business: Skills, capabilities and potential examines the high-level skills and capability needs of Queensland small businesses and identifies ways these needs can be supported, particularly in a post-COVID-19 world and against a backdrop of significant shifts in the way businesses and individuals work.

The size and importance of Queensland’s small business sector make effective skills and capability development pathways increasingly essential to support growth and sustainability.


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Five high-level skills and capability development areas

This research has identified five high-level skills and capability development areas needed by small businesses, and a sixth that captures elements that are specific to an individual enterprise:


  • Financial literacy and capability e.g. managing cash flow, stock control, forecasting and taxation (systems and record keeping)
  • Grant applications, funding and raising capital
  • Business insurance and risk management.



  • Recruitment and retention
  • Workforce planning and development
  • Effective management and team building
  • IR, OHS, licensing and regulation (industry and professional).



  • Contemporary marketing and advertising (digital strategies)
  • Identity building in increasingly globalised markets
  • Product differentiation.



  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Innovation and design – moving ideas to reality
  • Performance management
  • Coaching and mentoring.



  • Digital literacy and digital strategy (synergy with marketing and finance)
  • ICT systems management and cyber security
  • Integration of emerging technology.



  • Export market development
  • Conducting international and national business
  • Industry specific regulatory requirements
  • Tendering for government.

Six ways the Queensland Government can play its part

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.

Jobs Queensland has highlighted six ways the Queensland Government can play its part in supporting effective skills and capability development for small businesses:

A strong evidence base


Respond to diversity of needs



Support for those with a desire for growth






Last updated 29 November 2022