A priority for the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) has been to cultivate deeper engagement with industry and other stakeholders on all aspects of the national training system. The AISC has focused on improved communication and a desire to draw on the expertise of industry, in particular Industry Reference Committees (IRCs).
In 2020, the AISC held two IRC Chairs Days to gain their views on the IRC operating model and the challenges and opportunities for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. The AISC stressed the importance of feedback from IRCs and how they can assist to inform and guide strategy, operational ideas and best practice in the sector.
Key themes raised at the IRC Chairs Days were addressed at an AISC strategic meeting on 8 September 2020. The AISC agreed to develop an Action Plan to strengthen engagement and enhance support to the IRC network.
The Action Plan was endorsed in October 2020 and includes a series of projects and activities to address feedback from IRC Chairs. The four key themes of the Action Plan are:
1. Greater strategic leadership and guidance from the AISC to the IRC network
2. Improved communication and engagement between the AISC and IRCs
3. Building increased capability for IRCs
4. Streamlining and improving training product processes
The AISC has agreed to address the Action Plan in a two stage approach:
1. Taking some immediate actions to introduce greater transparency, involvement and support into the system for IRCs.
2. Undertaking a considered analysis of opportunities and mechanisms to support IRC Chairs.
The Action Plan (as at February 2021) can be viewed here. Further updates on progress will be provided in the coming months.