AISC Communique - June 2016

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The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) continued its ambitious agenda of supporting the new arrangements for developing training packages at its meeting on 15 June 2016 in Canberra.

AISC Chair Mr John Pollaers welcomed Ms Megan Lilly as the new peak industry body representative, thanking outgoing member Ms Jenny Lambert for her valuable contribution to the work of the Committee during its inaugural year. Mr Pollaers also welcomed the new Senior Skills Officials’ Network ex-officio representative Dr Chrissie Berryman, who assumed the position in place of Mr Simon Walker. Mr Pollaers expressed the Committee’s thanks to Mr Walker for his service.

Address by the Minister

The Committee welcomed the Hon Meegan Fitzharris MLA, ACT Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research. Minister Fitzharris spoke to the Committee about her focus on bringing together and growing the vocational education and the higher education and research sectors. The ACT has particular technical strengths across a number of sectors including advanced defence manufacturing, cyber security, renewable energy, space and a strong tertiary education sector is providing the skills needed by industry to bring these innovations to market.

The Minister also talked about the positive reputation of the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Canberra and the surrounding region and the importance of apprentices to growth in the region.

Forward work schedule

The Committee welcomed the advice from Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) about their urgent priorities and agreed a significant package of work to be progressed during 2016-17.

The new work will deliver opportunities for improved productivity for Australian firms by focusing on the new skills industry needs to:

  • capitalise on advancements in technology;
  • keep pace with new ways of working;
  • reflect new jobs in the economy; and
  • address emerging skills needs.

The new package of work will be set out in the National Review Schedule which will be published on the AISC website shortly. The first iteration of the rolling National Review Schedule will provide a single source of information about the work that is underway in the system.

Much of the work commissioned at this early stage is for IRCs, with the support of their skills service organisations, to review existing training products and to develop a business case – setting out the case for change. The AISC encourages industry stakeholders to be actively involved in this work as it progresses. Under the new arrangements for training package development, training packages will only change after a robust consultation process and analysis of the needs of industry has been done and the case for change has been made.

IRCs are due to deliver their four-year workplans in September. These workplans will include an industry-level analysis of the opportunities and challenges for the workforce and recommendations about when the relevant training products should be reviewed and, if necessary, updated. They will also provide advice about any new skills needs that are expected to arise into the future.

In developing these workplans, IRCs will undertake broad-based consultation to ensure the workplan represents a whole-of-industry view. Priority work identified through this process will be added to the National Review Schedule and will be progressed by the relevant IRC.

Information on how to be part of this new consultative approach, through involvement in the work of IRCs, is available on the website.

Consideration of Training Package Cases for Endorsement

The Committee approved for implementation:

  • Certificate II in Furniture Making Pathways (MSF Furnishing Training Package)
  • MSS Sustainability Training Package
  • PMB Plastics, Rubber and Cablemaking Training Package
  • PMC Manufactured Mineral Products Training Package
  • MST Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package (currently known as LMT Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package).

Training Package Development and Endorsement Process Policy

The Committee noted that the Training Package Development and Endorsement Process Policy, that supports the implementation of the Standards for Training Packages 2012, needs to be updated to reflect the new arrangements for developing training packages.

Members agreed to a revised draft of the Training Product Development and Endorsement Process Policy as the basis for consultation. The AISC noted the importance of this policy document in underpinning the development of training packages that accurately reflect the needs of industry and the need for key industry stakeholders to have the opportunity to provide input. Consultations will commence immediately with announcements, on how to support the updating of the policy, made on the AISC website.

Review of Industry Reference Committees

IRC’s play a pivotal role at the centre of the new model for training package development and the Committee reiterated the critical importance of attracting people with the right skills, experience, and knowledge to represent their industry sector as members of IRCs.

The Committee is currently reviewing all IRCs to ensure that the structure and membership provides the best possible industry coverage and expertise to support training package development under the new arrangements.  This review is an open and inclusive process with all interested stakeholders having the opportunity to participate.

The Committee noted the progress being made on the review and welcomed the extensive consultation processes undertaken on the proposed structure of the Furnishing IRC. Notification about the consultation process was sent to industry stakeholders and published via the website. The Committee asked that the use of social media for future processes also be explored to ensure the broadest possible consultation.

Members agreed that a suite of materials would be developed to support future reviews, including 2-3 draft structures from which the IRC can choose as the basis for consultation, additional information about the AISC’s preferences in terms of structure and membership, and information about the timeframe and key steps for the review.

The Committee also welcomed progress on engagement of a service provider to deliver governance support and professional development assistance to IRCs.

Further information

Established by the COAG Industry Skills Committee in May 2015 and comprising industry leaders from each state and territory, the AISC provides industry leadership and advice to Ministers on the implementation of national vocational education and training policy.

Further information about the Committee and the opportunities available to engage in the new arrangements is available at