We know vocational education and training graduates are highly sought after by businesses. This appetite for practical skills and technical know-how will only increase as the nature of work changes and businesses become increasingly transformed by automation and digitalisation.
The importance of VET in delivering Australia’s future skills needs is echoed in various reports and inquiries, including most recently in submissions to the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers, and the report by Innovation and Science Australia’s Australia 2030: Prosperity through innovation.
The AISC’s cross sector projects are an example of how industry is driving real change and thinking ahead to the future. Many of you have been involved and I thank you for your contribution and eagerness to work with other IRCs, across industries, to identify common skills needs in areas like automation, cyber security, digital skills and big data. At the February 20 meeting the AISC made several decisions to progress these projects, which have the potential to leverage knowledge development and thinking across the industry sectors to ensure vocational education is positioned to meet these skills needs.
The AISC will establish an Industry 4.0 IRC to provide guidance and oversight of the digital skills and automation projects and to ensure the national training system is responding to innovations occurring through advanced industrial activity and digital transformation. Another new, short-term IRC, the Environmental Sustainability IRC, will comprise both current Sustainability IRC experts and representatives from a range of sectors to oversee the environmental sustainability cross sector project.
To find out more about the decisions made at the February AISC meeting, view the communique.
Aged Care IRC
The AISC recently agreed to establish an Aged Care IRC to strengthen aged care industry input to the competency standards used in the sector and to implement reforms to education and training resulting from the Aged Care Workforce Strategy, which I am leading. A focus of the new IRC will be on career pathways and ensuring entry-level qualifications are fit-for-purpose as we move to living well models of care and recognise the benefits of integrated care. The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, the Hon Karen Andrews; and the Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Wyatt joined the AISC in announcing the IRC. This is a great example of how a combined Government, industry and community effort can lead to real change.
The new IRC is a watershed decision and will ensure the sector stays ahead of industry need and consumer expectation. The aged care industry is diverse and the new IRC will give the sector a united platform to drive change in the education and training of the workforce.
John Pollaers with Marilyn Busietta, of Melbourne. Marilyn is aged 82 and receives home care services from Benetas
IRC Chairs meeting
Around 90 IRC Chairs and Deputy Chairs met in Melbourne last month. The focus of the day was on professional development, with workshops held in response to topics identified by IRCs – effective engagement with industry, driving high performance and evidence-based decision making.
It was great to see so many industries together in the one room, sharing insights and experiences in training package development. Together our IRCs are an incredible economic force, covering 85 per cent of Australian workforce qualifications!
Rail IRC, Carol Hedrick; Rail IRC, Victoria Kent and Transport and Logistics IRC, Cathi Payne
Case study: Forest and Wood Products Training Package
Comprising more than 13,000 businesses and employing more than 120,000 people, Australia’s forest and wood products industry is diverse. Read the case study on changes to the Forest and Wood Products training package and work by the Forest Management and Harvesting Industry Reference Committee (IRC) to prepare the sector for new technologies.
New resources for IRCs
Industry content for the National Industry Insights Report website is now live, and the second stage of content - a national overview - is currently being reviewed by IRC Chairs. Combining knowledge and input from Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) with labour market and training data, the report provides a cross industry analysis of skills forecasts and the trends and factors that affect the demand for these skills.
The National Schedule resource makes it easier for you to search and keep track of when training package work is scheduled for your, and other, IRCs.
IRC members have been involved in the user testing for both resources. Thanks for your help in making sure we deliver products that meet your needs.