Terms of Reference

Purpose

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) Emergency Response Sub-Committee (the sub-committee) has been established to provide a streamlined and rapid process to advise Skills Ministers on urgent adjustments that need to be made to national training package products to meet critical workforce needs as they emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic and that are critical to economic recovery. This response is required to identify emerging skills needs, develop innovative solutions and ensure the training system responds flexibly in this emergency environment.

Existing processes for training product development will continue to apply for all other training.

Focus

The priorities of the sub-committee will be on national training products to:

  • support and skill key frontline workforces impacted by COVID-19. Initial industry sectors include: aged care, disability support, health care, and early childhood education and care sectors.
  • meet national workforce requirements critical to supporting recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

All industries have been impacted and some are undergoing transformational change in their workforce and skilling requirements. Emerging risks and opportunities across industry sectors will be monitored, with advice provided through the AISC Secretariat, to enable the sub-committee to respond as required.

Duration

Commencing in April 2020, the sub-committee will be established for an initial period of 6 months, with an option to extend based on developments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Skills Ministers have extended the sub-committee's operation until 31 December 2020 to further develop responses to critical skills needs.

Functions

To meet both urgent and emerging workforce needs in response to COVID19 and to support recovery form the COVID-19 Pandemic, the sub-committee will:

  • commission the review, amendment or development of national training products
  • endorse developed or amended national training products
  • provide advice on any restrictions, limitations or safeguards that would need to be put in place to ensure quality of training
  • provide recommendations to Skills Ministers for endorsement of national training products
  • develop and implement a communication strategy to provide advice on training product adjustments to industry and the training sector.

Membership

Drawn from the current AISC:

  • AISC Chair, Chair of the sub-committee
  • Three members of the AISC, nominated by the AISC
  • SSON ex-officio (or delegate)
  • Commonwealth ex-officio (or delegate)

Additional member:

  • ACTU Elected Officer in an ex-officio capacity

Members will be required to be available to respond to very short timeframes, in accordance with the prioritisation criteria and timelines specified in the Emergency Response sub-committee process, which will be established at the first meeting.

Meetings

The sub-committee will meet as required to commission and/or approve national training package product review/development. Meetings will be via tele/video conference.

A minimum of three AISC members must provide a quorum for approvals. The Chair and members of the sub-committee are expected to contribute to consensus decision-making. In the event the Chair of the sub-committee is unavailable, the Chair will nominate a deputy.

The sub-committee will draw on expertise where required, including using reputable sources of medical and technical advice, as well as sourcing advice from the National Skills Commission and the Australian Skills Quality Authority. The sub-committee may invite stakeholders with appropriate experience on a case by case basis to provide advice to the sub-committee. This could include but not limited to, relevant IRC Chairs, representatives from VET regulators, and/or experts from impacted sectors. In doing this the sub-committee will manage real or perceived conflicts of interest that may arise.

The sub-committee will be supported by an expanded AISC Secretariat, in accordance with the Emergency Response sub-committee process.

Operational arrangements

Costs for participation in the sub-committee will be consistent with AISC Committee arrangements.