Communique: Emergency Response Sub-Committee - 26 May 2020

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The seventh meeting of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) Emergency Response Sub‑Committee (the sub-committee) was held on Tuesday 26 May, 2020.

Industry Intelligence on Priority Issues

The sub-committee noted the updated advice from industry and VET stakeholders, received through the AISC and ASQA feedback processes, on current and emerging issues affecting the sector due to COVID-19.

The sub-committee discussed priority pressure points and emerging issues on topics including Laboratory operations for point of care testing and cyber security.

Entry into Care Roles Skill Set

The sub-committee noted the Entry into Care Roles skill set was available on, with the RTO fact sheet available on the AISC website.

Mandatory Work Placements

The sub-committee considered feedback from states and territories on the jurisdictional impact of mandatory work placements on RTOs and students, noting the issues are nuanced and vary across jurisdictions.  The sub-committee also noted information from providers that they are trying to manage the issues associated with the inability to provide work placements and workplace assessments across a range of industries, and that ASQA is alert to the risk that some providers may feel pressured in this environment which could result in inappropriate workarounds.

The sub-committee discussed the need for work placement principles to be developed, to provide further guidance to RTOs during COVID-19. The sub-committee asked the AISC Secretariat to consider this and provide advice at the 10 June meeting.

The sub-committee also agreed the AISC Secretariat would continue to monitor and collect evidence on the mandatory work placement issues, including through engagement with VET provider peak bodies.

Infection Control – Cross Sector Unit

The sub-committee agreed for work to commence on the development of new cross-sectoral infection control training, which would be applicable across a broad range of industries. The sub-committee discussed the importance of incorporating stakeholder consultation into the initial scoping of the training. The sub-committee agreed that the work on this cross-sectoral training is to occur prior to the development of any contextualisation guides for other potential priority industry sectors, discussed in previous sub-committee meetings. The sub-committee also noted the announcement on the new $80 million Infection Control Training Fund.

Skill Set Principles

The sub-committee noted the revised Terms of Reference had been updated on the AISC website.

To inform their new expanded remit, the sub-committee agreed to a draft set of guiding principles to ensure the design and delivery of skill sets is aligned with the objectives of the national VET system both during and post COVID-19

Next Meeting

The next sub-committee meeting will be held on Wednesday 3 June 2020.