Communique: Emergency Response Sub-committee - 21 April 2020

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The third meeting of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) Emergency Response Sub‑Committee (the sub-committee) was held on Tuesday 21 April, 2020. The sub-committee considered outcomes and urgent actions that emerged from the recent COAG Skills Council meeting.

Industry intelligence on priority issues

The sub-committee welcomed feedback from industry stakeholders, including through AISC and ASQA websites, on current and emerging issues in the VET sector, resulting from COVID-19.

The sub-committee discussed priority pressure points and emerging issues, including those relating to National Broadband Network maintenance and cyber security. Laundry workers were identified as potentially vulnerable workforces. The sub-committee also discussed the potential need to upskill workers engaged in pathology collection and testing during the COVID-19 crisis. The sub-committee will monitor these areas to determine whether amendments to national training products will be required.

Infection Control

The sub-committee agreed to the adaptation of the existing infection control unit, to be established as a cross-sectoral skill set in order to support frontline health workers as well as other occupations who are exposed to unprecedented and unusual infection risks, such as cleaners and laundry workers. The AISC Secretariat will provide documentation on the adapted skill set to the sub-committee for consideration by the next meeting.

Human Services Skill Set

The sub-committee noted feedback from industry consultations on the development of pre-employment skill sets in aged care and disability to provide confidence for employers and support the redeployment of suitable workers from other areas of the economy. The sub-committee directed the AISC Secretariat to fast-track the development of this skill-set for their consideration at next week’s meeting.

Personal care workers in aged care

The sub-committee discussed the need to tighten the elective bank for the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) to strengthen the qualification and ensure learners are equipped with the essential skills and knowledge to work in the aged care sector. The AISC Secretariat will work with SSOs and relevant IRCs to issue advice to students on the selection of electives most relevant to aged care (or disability care).  This matter will come back to the full AISC for out of session consideration.

The next sub-committee meeting will be held on Tuesday 28 April 2020.