Communique: Emergency Response Sub-Committee - 19 August 2020

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The thirteenth meeting of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) Emergency Response Sub‑Committee (the sub-committee) was held on Wednesday 19 August 2020.

Critical Skills for Economic Recovery

The sub-committee considered the third and final tranche of proposals from Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) and Skills Service Organisations (SSOs) to support displaced workers and businesses affected by COVID-19 and again expressed their appreciation for the considerable work that went into the preparation of these.

The sub-committee did not approve any projects for development. The sub-committee noted that a number of the proposals were not sufficiently aligned with the objectives of the sub-committee. In other cases, projects were more targeted at addressing pre-existing industry labour shortages and did not show sufficient evidence of how the project would directly address the objectives of training/employment opportunities for displaced workers. For these projects, the sub-committee encouraged the relevant Industry Reference Committees to undertake further project development and resubmit their projects to the AISC for consideration in early 2021.

The sub-committee also discussed proposals from Skills Organisations (SO) established under the Skills Organisation Pilot Program and recommended one proposal for further development:

Training Product Details

Mining 101 – entry into Mining Skill Set

The proposal creates a skill set delivering core foundational knowledge/fundamentals of mining for non-mining workers who have an existing skill base/transferable skill set and have been or are likely to be displaced through significant events like COVID 19.

Critical Skills for Recovery - Next Phase

The sub-committee approved a second phase of work being progressed, with a focus on using national labour market data to identify any further training pathways required to support displaced workers to transition to areas of labour market growth, and exploring need and support for the creation of broad-based skill sets for school leavers.

Members noted the range of communications activities planned to be undertaken to ensure training products developed through the sub-committee are promoted widely to stakeholders, including industry, job seekers and RTOs.

Mandatory Work Placements

The sub-committee discussed issues relating to the disruption on mandatory work placements associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sub-committee noted that many RTOs are adjusting their training and assessment strategies to support students to complete qualifications. The sub-committee acknowledged that the mandatory work placement disruption requires a national solution, and agreed to the development of a set of principles, formed through industry consultation.  The sub-committee requested that these principles be brought back at the next meeting.

Critical Skills Issues Register

The sub-committee noted advice from industry and VET stakeholders, received through the AISC online feedback submission form and through direct engagement with the Secretariat, on emerging issues that have been registered on the Critical Skills Issues Register.  This includes a proposal by the relevant IRCs to add a new infection control unit to the ‘required’ electives for the aged and disability care streams within the Certificate III in Individual Support.  This change will be made immediately, and will apply to both current and future students.

Next Meeting

The next sub-committee meeting will be held on 2 September 2020.