The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (the AISC) held its third meeting today in Sydney.
Chair of the Committee, Mr John Pollaers, welcomed the Hon John Barilaro MP, New South Wales Minister for Small Business, Regional Development and Skills. Mr Barilaro outlined the NSW Government’s priorities for vocational education and training, including the recently launched Smart and Skilled initiative, which focuses on the delivery of training that aligns with the skills needs identified by NSW businesses.
The AISC carefully reviewed advice from Industry Skills Councils about the number of training packages that will come forward for consideration between now and the end of the year. The majority of these changes arise from the 2012 decision of Ministers to ensure that all training packages meet the requirements of the new Standards by the end of 2015. Committee members noted the need for careful prioritisation given that over 30 training packages will be submitted in late November, and noted that this may mean that some will not be able to be considered before the end of the year.
Committee members agreed that it is important to continue to apply rigorous quality criteria in considering training packages for approval and to consider downstream implementation issues. Members agreed to write to the Industry Skills Councils to reinforce the need for clear and accurate advice to be provided as part of the case for endorsement – particularly around the level of engagement undertaken, clear reference to any exceptions that have been raised by stakeholders and advice about why the Industry Skills Council is recommending the qualifications/units be approved despite those exceptions. This level of clarity will assist the Committee to consider cases in a timely manner given the expected workload coming to the Committee in the next few months. The Committee also agreed that the matter should be raised by the Chair at the 18 September meeting of the Skills Senior Officials Network.
The AISC approved four training packages for implementation at the meeting:
- CPP Property Services;
- MAR Maritime;
- SIS Sport, Fitness & Recreation; and
- AVI Aviation.
The AISC also discussed the importance of building a strong evidence base to inform future decisions about training product development work. Work is underway to develop a simple, consistent, transparent and robust process for prioritising and scheduling this work, informed by labour market need and taking account of the current and emerging skills requirements of industry. Much of this information will come from industry through their Industry Reference Groups which will be supported by the new Skills Service Organisations that will be appointed later in the year.
A key objective of the Committee is to improve the responsiveness of the skills and training system, particularly in areas of economic and structural change, where there is increasing automation and globalisation and where collaboration underpins growth and international competitiveness.
The Committee is also committed to increasing the efficiency of the training package development system. In line with this, the Committee agreed to refer almost 100 qualifications from nine Enterprise Training Packages to the relevant Industry Reference Committees for advice about their removal from the National Register.
The Committee also agreed to the development of industry proposals for two new sector-wide units in the areas of teamwork and communication.
The AISC will meet next in Adelaide on 12 October 2015.