Communique: Emergency Response Sub-committee - 15 April 2020

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The first and second meetings of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) Emergency Response Sub-Committee (the sub-committee) were held on Wednesday 8 and Wednesday 15 April, 2020.

Emergency Response Sub-committee members

The Emergency Response sub-committee is comprised of:

  • Chair, Emeritus Professor Tracey Horton
  • Dr Don Zoellner (NT)
  • Ms Adrienne Nieuwenhuis (SA)
  • Mr Brett Schimming (Qld)
  • Mr Scott Connolly (ACTU)
  • Ms Nadine Williams (Commonwealth)
  • Dr Simon Booth (SSON representative)

First Aid training

The AISC sub-committee has issued updated advice for First Aid Training and assessment, available on the AISC website here. Under the revised advice, RTOs must not allow students to breathe directly into a manikin when undertaking CPR training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, RTOs are directed to ensure students perform breath to the side of the manikin, as one strategy to help minimise the risk of spreading the virus. This adjustment is to be provided alongside other measures being implemented at the RTO level to ensure a safe and hygienic learning environment.

Pre-Employment and Infection control

The Sub-committee agreed to rapid work being undertaken in relation to potential pre-employment skill sets for aged and disability care workers. The sub-committee also agreed on the need to consider infection control training for the broader workforce.

The department is to provide an update on further work to examine the cross-sectoral application of this identified skill set to support upskilling in other industries at the next Sub-Committee meeting.

Gathering Industry Intelligence

The sub-committee agreed a process to register and track current and emerging issues affecting the VET sector as a result of COVID-19. Industry Reference Committees will be primarily responsible for collating advice from employers, unions and industry peak bodies on necessary adjustments to the national training system during COVID-19.  Input from registered training organisations and their peaks will be captured by the Australian Skills Quality Authority, with the department responsible for liaising with state and territory governments. 

Stakeholder feedback will assist the sub-committee to monitor and gauge priority issues in relation to training packages and delivery.

Communications and Engagement

To enable timely updates on decisions and outcomes from meetings and support stakeholders to raise critical training and skills issues as they arise, the sub-committee agreed to number of communications activities, including the creation of:

  • a dedicated section on the AISC website to host the activities of this sub‑committee.
  • online forms on the AISC and ASQA websites, allowing industry stakeholders and training providers to raise emerging issues and concerns.

To ensure stakeholders have visibility of these resources, the sub-committee agreed the Chair would write to industry representatives, providers and relevant peak bodies, alerting them to these resources and encouraging organisations to identify and raise issues to inform the sub‑committee’s deliberations.