Message from AISC Chair - December Newsletter

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20 December 2021


An banner image of the AISC Chair - Tracey Horton


Good afternoon Industry Reference Committee (IRC) members and Skills Service Organisations (SSOs),

As we fast approach the end of what has been another eventful and productive year, on behalf of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) I’d like to thank you for your commitment during 2021. In a year where COVID-19 has continued to shape the economy and labour market and had a significant and profound impact on sectors impacted by lockdowns, you have responded by showing resilience and continuing to deliver on training products.

Looking ahead to 2022, there is still a lot of important work in-train across the training product development program and in the transition to the new industry engagement arrangements in 2023. With the extension of IRC memberships and SSO funding agreements, the focus next year will be to ensure continuity of the training system and have all existing projects completed by the end of 2022. I also encourage IRC members to use this opportunity to reflect on achievements, your industry’s challenges moving forward, and to share learnings to assist with a successful transition.

Enjoy the break and have a safe, happy and restful holiday season. I look forward to working with you all in the new year.

Best regards,


Skills Reform update: Industry Cluster Grant Opportunity

Following the media release from the Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, stage one of the two-stage grant process to establish Industry Clusters is now open. The grant opportunity is available on GrantConnect.

An Industry Briefing was held on 14 December 2021 to provide more information about the grant opportunity. You can watch the recording of the briefing by logging in to the grant opportunity documents page on GrantConnect. If you have further questions, you can contact the Grant Round Manager via

Further information on industry engagement reform and the proposed Industry Clusters structure and groupings can be found on the Skills Reform website.

AISC meeting updates

Since the last newsletter, the AISC held its 42nd and 43rd meetings. The meeting communiques can be found on the AISC website.

National Industry Insights Report: First batch of industry pages updated

The first batch of industry pages for 2021-22 are now live on the National Industry Insights Report (NIIR) website. The NIIR website has been developed by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

NCVER has used research and industry intelligence to update the information and data contained in seven industry sectors to ensure it remains useful and relevant. The industry sectors are: business services; community services; electrotechnology; financial services; health; information and communications technology; mining, drilling and civil infrastructure. Information on the impact of COVID-19 on these industries continues to be included.

Stay tuned for the next batch of industry updates which are due at the end of January 2022.

NIIR Banner

Skills Organisation Pilots

The Skills Organisation (SO) Pilots are working with employers, training organisations and stakeholders across their industries to gain insights, test new concepts and trial projects to prepare the workforce for the future.

The Mining Skills Organisation (MSO) Pilot presented to the AISC on 1 December 2021 on a proposal to rapidly incorporate existing automation qualifications developed by Rio Tinto into the Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package. The project has involved collaboration between the MSO Pilot, Rio Tinto, PwC Skills for Australia and the Coal Mining, Drilling and Metalliferous Mining IRCs. The AISC were supportive of the project and the MSO Pilot will continue to work closely with the IRCs and PwC to progress. 

The Digital Skills Organisation (DSO) Pilot continues to focus on closing Australia’s digital skills gap by working with employers to ensure digital training is relevant to the needs of employers. DSO Pilot CEO, Patrick Kidd, facilitated a one-hour panel discussion confirming how industry is working to close the Australian digital skills gap.

An informative discussion was had by the panellists:

  • Kate Pounder, Chief Executive Officer at Tech Council of Australia
  • Michelle Dowdell, First Assistant Secretary at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Rachel Bondi, Chief Partner Officer at Microsoft
  • Michael Howard, Chief Operating Officer at Officeworks.

For those who didn’t attend the event it can be viewed on the DSO website.

National Skills Commission (NSC) update: ‘The future of work is skilled’

On 7 December 2021, National Skills Commissioner, Adam Boyton, launched the State of Australia’s Skills 2021: now and into the future report, which outlines the current, emerging and future skills needs of Australia. The NSC’s report finds that some of the most important and rapidly growing skills needs over the coming years are:

  • Care – the group of skills responding to demographic change, such as the ageing of the population
  • Computing – a group of skills needed to respond to the digital world and the increasing use of digital technologies across the entire economy
  • Cognitive abilities – the group of advanced reasoning and higher order skills computers cannot easily replace, especially non-routine cognitive skills
  • Communication – the group of skills needed to collaborate and engage within and across workplaces.

To view the report in full visit the National Skills Commission website.

National Skills Commission logo