Communique: Emergency Response Sub-Committee - 4 August 2020

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The twelfth meeting of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) Emergency Response Sub‑Committee (the sub-committee) was held on Tuesday 4 August 2020.

National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board

The sub-committee received a presentation from Peter Harris AO, Chief Executive Officer of the National COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission Advisory Board. Mr Harris provided insights on how businesses and workplaces were responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Advisory Board’s move to shift its focus on recovery and reform.

The sub-committee discussed how current and future skills and training needs can be met to support economic recovery. They agreed on the importance of working closely with the Advisory Board to help displaced workers to rapidly upskill and connect with employment opportunities.

Critical Skills for Economic Recovery

The sub-committee reviewed further submissions received by IRCs on critical skills needed by displaced workers and businesses, and where national VET training package products could provide support to rapidly reskill or upskill displaced workers and businesses. The sub-committee approved two proposals: Entry into Technology skill set and Upskilling Trainers for Virtual Delivery skill set. The sub-committee agreed that the new training products would help displaced workers rapidly reskill or upskill to move into the ICT sector and help training providers equip their trainers to more effectively deliver training in a post-pandemic environment. These proposals will be further developed and, subject to endorsement, will be available during September.

The sub-committee noted that it had received a number of project proposals aimed at addressing skills needs in the agricultural industry.  While these specific proposals did not meet the criteria for emergency responses, members discussed the importance of supporting skilled and safe work in this industry and encouraged industry to consider bringing forward recommendations to a meeting of the full AISC.

Proposals to proceed for further development:

Entry into Technology

Creation of a new skill set to support training for displaced workers in any industry to gain basic technological knowledge and pave the way for a range of specialised and non-specialised careers in ICT.

Upskilling Trainers for Virtual Delivery

Creation of a new skill set to support workers in VET and industry to design, develop and coordinate online and virtual learning in an online or blended environment.

Note: The sub-committee requested this work also provide direction on conducting assessments in an online environment

The sub-committee considered all proposals presented to them and expressed their appreciation to IRCs and SSOs for the time taken to prepare them. Where projects were not endorsed by the sub-committee, it was noted that while they did not meet the criteria for emergency responses, some may be more suitable for the broader AISC, and the sub-committee encouraged IRCs to bring forward proposals through standard training package approval processes where appropriate.

Critical Skills Issues Register

The sub-committee noted advice from industry and VET stakeholders, received through the new AISC online feedback submission form, on emerging issues that have been registered on the Critical Skills Issues Register.

The sub-committee noted ongoing communications activity undertaken by the Department to promote the training products endorsed by the Sub-Committee.

Next Meeting

The next sub-committee meeting will be held on 19 August 2020.