Industry Engagement Guide

On this page


The Industry Engagement Guide is designed to help IRCs to identify the appropriate breadth of stakeholders to engage with to gather industry intelligence. It also provides guidance about how to collect data in a structured and consistent way across stakeholders.


The Guide outlines the stakeholder categories you need to consult as part of the development of an ISF. It also contains consultation guidance to ensure you ask the right questions. ISF submissions need to include similar information to that described below.

Resource Three: Download Stakeholder Consultation Plan Template here.

How to use the Guide

Work with your SSO to plan stakeholder engagement using the table below. Determine which stakeholders are most relevant, and how they would be engaged. Ensure your approach follows the principles for consultation below.

Principles for consultation

The number of stakeholders that should be consulted in the development of an ISF varies by industry.

The following principles for determining the scale and type of consultation have been developed based on feedback from AISC and the Department.

  • There should be evidence of sufficient consultation to support the need for change. Consultation should occur until the IRC is satisfied that additional consultations will yield a similar response. That is, the key themes should be sufficiently validated by stakeholders. This does not mean that stakeholders have to agree on the issues, but that the key issues have been raised.
  • It is essential that input is gathered from outside of the IRC, rather than be confined to the IRC members and their organisations.
  • Consultation should include groups that will be impacted by any proposed change, as well as groups that would be impacted by a lack of change.
  • Consultation approaches should be as active as possible, rather than reactive or receptive (for example, through surveys). Open surveys are prone to collecting responses primarily from highly satisfied or dissatisfied parties, rather than a representative view of industry.
  • Consultation approaches should be targeted to meet the needs of different stakeholder groups. For example, stakeholder groups with few individual stakeholders (for example, licensing and regulatory bodies) are likely best consulted through small group interviews or one-on-one discussions. Stakeholder groups with more and diverse stakeholders may best be consulted through discussion forums.
  • Industry Engagement Guide.

Consultation Areas Guide

Stakeholder consultation is expected to address the two key areas below. These areas are designed to provide the information necessary to use the Decision Tree resource. Not all stakeholders will engage with every key information area below, so it is important that you carefully consider which areas to discuss with each stakeholder.

Area 1. Identification of skills issues within industry

The box below provides some example questions that can support the exploration of skills issues with your industry. The final set of discussion questions are best informed by IRC members as they are more closely across your industry context and communication styles.

Example discussion questions to understand changes in skills required by industry

  1. How have the skills required in your industry changed over the past 5 years (or other relevant period)?
    • What has driven this change?
    • Has it impacted some job roles more than others?
    • Are there any emerging industry trends or skills/knowledge that you would like your staff to have?
    • Can you train existing staff for emerging trends in skills, or will you need to recruit new staff?
  1. What new job roles have been created in your industry in the last 5 years?
    • Is there a need for national consistency in training for these job roles?
    • What type of training product would be most appropriate for these new job roles? (e.g. qualifications, skill sets)
    • Are there other job roles that will emerge in the next five years, and which would require skills not currently provided through VET?
  1. Are there any skill shortages in your industry?
    • What are the drivers of these skill shortages (for example, training barriers, others)?
    • To what extent are skills shortages due to the length or content of current training products?
    • Are these shortages influenced by adjacent industries?

Area 2. Industry use of training

The second area is about understanding the ways that industry uses the training system. The box below sets out some important areas of inquiry about industry training usage.

Example discussion questions to understand industry training usage

  1. Development of skills: What is the preference for and use of informal, unaccredited, accredited training, and nationally recognised training products (qualifications, skill sets, units) within your industry context?
  2. Role of formal qualifications: What qualifications are required as formal or informal entry or progression requirements within your industry?
  3. Need for formal qualifications: How important are formal qualifications for your industry? What are the drivers behind this?
  4. Value of formal qualifications: How well do entry-level and upskilling qualifications meet the need of your industry (i.e. would you employ graduates of these qualifications in your business)?
  5. Accredited training: What factors may encourage or discourage your workforce from using accredited training?