Communique: Emergency Response Sub-Committee - 9 December 2020

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The nineteenth meeting of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) Emergency Response Sub Committee (the sub-committee) was held on Wednesday 9 December 2020. 

Mandatory Workplace Requirements

The sub-committee discussed advice from IRCs on mandatory workplace requirements (MWR) in the 21st to 40th ranked qualifications by enrolment, to determine whether issues exist, and if there is scope to either highlight existing flexibilities or make amendments to better support RTOs and students.

None of the advice received from IRCs indicated any significant, ongoing issues with supporting student work placements as a result of COVID-19 with respect to those qualifications reviewed, with the majority of training products allowing for flexible delivery. Where MWR are included, they are for workplace, health and safety reasons, and/or for the appropriate skills development of learners. 

The AISC will continue to monitor issues relating to MWR in training products in 2021 and take any actions and recommendations as required to support the resolution of issues. 

Critical Skills for Recovery update - phase two – projects for endorsement:

The sub-committee endorsed the following project for implementation:

Title    Scope 
5G Telecommunication Skill Set  A new skill set in the ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package to support the rollout of the 5G network comprising existing units of competency that can be contextualised to meet the skill requirements for deploying the network.  This skill set will specifically assist displaced workers to reskill as mobile network technicians and 5G deployment technicians.

The sub-committee agreed this proposal complements the ICT Skill Sets approved by the AISC earlier in 2020, and will support displaced workers and new entrants to the workforce to take up employment opportunities in the field of 5G telecommunications technology. It is anticipated the skill set will be available for delivery in early 2021.

Support Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace

The sub-committee noted the importance of supporting mental wellbeing in the workplace, but agreed to postpone a decision on the proposed skill sets until further consultation is able to take place. This decision was made in response to feedback from stakeholders that the issues to be addressed are complex and require a longer, more in-depth consultation.  

Phase two – proposed projects for approval

The sub-committee discussed three new proposals received from Skills IQ and PwC Skills for Australia. 

Proposal Summary
Support for managers and supervisors of staff dealing with aggressive and disruptive customers     A new unit of competency that covers the skills and knowledge required by supervisors and managers of front-line workers who are required to deal with aggressive and potentially violent customers.
Cyber Security Counter-Insider Threat Skill Set    A new skill set (including new units of competency) to address skill needs highlighted through the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s (ASIO) public awareness campaign to increase the awareness of Australians of insider threats.
Foundation Skills   A suite of products to support displaced workers who require support with literacy and numeracy when building knowledge or reskilling. 

The sub-committee agreed two proposals be developed into final skill sets for endorsement: 
•    Support for managers and supervisors of staff dealing with aggressive and disruptive customers 
•    Cyber Security Counter-Insider Threat Skill Set.

The sub-committee agreed these proposals have the capacity to provide support for workers to manage environmental changes that have occurred because of COVID-19, or move to areas of the labour market forecasting growth in demand.

The final products will be submitted for approval at the first meeting of the full AISC on 23 February 2021.

The sub-committee noted the merits of the foundation skills proposal, but did not endorse this product for further development as it considers these skills are best delivered outside the VET system. 

Phase two - Deliver E-Learning Skill Set – PWC 

The sub-committee agreed to cease work on the development of the e-assessment component of the ‘Deliver E-Learning’ skill set, agreeing this work would be best progressed through the regular training package development process. This will ensure a more holistic approach to the development of any skill sets and enable a full consideration of stakeholder views. 

Proposed evaluation strategy for COVID-19 skill sets

The sub-committee agreed that monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of any skill sets endorsed by the sub-committee formed an important part of the critical skills for recovery process in supporting workers displaced by COVID-19. 

The sub-committee also agreed the AISC will undertake an assessment of the skill sets in September 2021 once appropriate and robust data is available. In addition, the sub-committee agreed to a qualitative evaluation of the lessons learned through its operation over the past nine months. 

Communications and Engagement update

The sub-committee acknowledged the significant communications activity to promote new training products it commissioned. An article highlighting the achievements of the sub-committee will be published on the AISC website.  

Next Meeting

The term of the AISC Emergency Response Sub-Committee concludes on 31 December 2020. 

The Chair thanked members for their significant work, expertise and commitment during the last 8 months and expressed appreciation to Industry Reference Committees and Skills Service Organisations for their contribution.