Strategic policy discussion
The Committee was briefed on the COAG Industry and Skills Council (CISC) 24 November meeting which included an address by AISC Chair, John Pollaers, on the AISC’s progress with refreshing IRCs, building an evidence base, streamlining training package development and improving speed to market.
The AISC was also briefed on proposed consultation processes for ASQA’s Strategic review of issues relating to unduly short training and the Training Product Reform Joint Working Party’s Training Product Reform: what is the case for change? Discussion papers are expected to be released in December 2017, with stakeholder consultation planned in early 2018. The AISC requested it be briefed during the consultation phases for these reports.
The AISC welcomed advice from the Department of Education and Training about a new tool being developed that will assist Skills Services Organisations (SSOs) and their IRCs in identifying possible duplication in units of competency across the national training register. The Department will provide a progress update to the AISC on this work at its next meeting.
PwC Skills for Australia
Ms Sara Caplan, Chief Executive Officer and Mr Tim Rawlings, Head of Training Product Development, PwC Skills for Australia, presented to the AISC. Ms Caplan outlined PwC’s work including opportunities and challenges facing the IRCs it supports and her organisation’s efforts to streamline training packages across sectors to reduce duplicate and obsolete units. She also told the Committee IRCs had responded positively and enthusiastically to the cross sector projects.
National Industry Insights Report
The first stage of the AISC’s National Industry Insights Report website went live on 4 December and includes 30 per cent of IRCs. The website brings together grassroots industry intelligence and other data to help IRCs prioritise training package development work. The Committee acknowledged the site as an important reference point and source of information and noted the remaining content will roll out over the next two months.
Training package development
The AISC considered a number of cases for endorsement, cases for change and the structure and membership of an IRC. The Committee noted the completion of the review of all 64 IRCs as a significant achievement.
The Committee approved for implementation the following cases for endorsement:
FNS Financial Services – update to address accounting and bookkeeping, payroll, and ‘business ethics and conduct’ skill needs. Approval is subject to a new unit code being applied.
FBP Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing – review of 14 qualifications, three skill sets and 197 units of competencies components of the FBP Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Training Package Version 1.
Meat EU Skill Set – review of four new units of competency for use as part of new skill set for Animal Welfare Officer Assistants and 10 revised poultry units of competency updated to the 2012 Standards and migrated from Food Manufacturing Training Package to the Australian Meat Processing Training Package.
SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation – Updated training products for equine units of competency and all safety critical areas in the outdoor recreation components of the SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package, comprising 18 units of competency and deleting three units of competency.
The Committee approved elements of the following case for endorsement:
PSP Public Sector (Auslan) – The AISC approved the Auslan qualifications and units of competency case for endorsement. The Committee considered the proposed requirement for an Auslan assessor to be deaf and to have Auslan as their primary language and has decided to not endorse this element. The AISC came to this decision based on the following considerations:
- not wanting to establish a precedent that pre-determines the eligibility of an assessor for any training package
- potential/unintended impacts on workforce supply in thin markets, regional and/or remote areas
- the effect on any existing, qualified assessors.
The AISC agreed to strongly encourage all stakeholders to engage state governments and RTOs to put in place mechanisms to actively encourage people who are deaf to become qualified Auslan assessors. The AISC also noted and appreciated the strong and consistent views of industry and requested the Secretariat meet with key industry organisations.
The Committee considered and sought further information to support the case for endorsement for the Manufacturing and Engineering (MEM), Animal Care and Management (AMC) and Maritime (MAR) training packages.
The following cases for change were supported by the Committee:
CPP Waste Management – update the structure and composition of three waste management qualifications and 44 units of competency, and deleting one qualification and 11 units of competency.
SFI Seafood (Biosecurity) – review 10 qualifications and multiple units of competency, along with the development of up to two new units of competency and the potential development of new skill sets at each AQF level.