National training system

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What is the national training system?

The Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) system (the national training system) aims to provide individuals with the work-ready skills and qualifications needed to keep Australia’s industry sectors productive and competitive.

The system is based on occupational skills standards, which are set out in units of competency within training packages. These training packages reflect nationally consistent qualifications required for particular occupations. The nationally recognised qualifications align with the Australian Qualifications Framework and industry recognised skill sets.

Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) deliver training and are authorised to issue the qualifications or statements of attainment once people have met the requirements of training packages.

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Who develops training packages for the national training system?

  • The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) consists of industry leaders from across Australia. One of its roles is to quality assure and endorse training packages for implementation. It provides leadership and guidance to help make sure the national training system provides the qualifications, knowledge and skill sets that industry needs, now and into the future. The AISC provides this industry perspective to Ministers and is supported by a secretariat within the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. 
  • Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) are made up of industry experts and organisational representatives who have knowledge of the skills needs of their sector, industry or occupation. They provide a channel between industry and Government on the skills needed, to inform the development of training packages. IRCs gather feedback from their sectors and oversee the development and review of training packages, to inform the AISC’s decisions. IRCs also promote the use of VET within their sector.
  • Skills Services Organisations (SSOs) are independent, professional service organisations that provide support to IRCs in their work developing and reviewing training packages. They are funded by the Australian Government to provide IRCs with secretariat, travel and accommodation support. SSOs also prepare documentation for IRCs such as the skills forecast and proposed schedule of work, the case for change, and case for endorsement for proposed changes to training packages. SSOs are a key access point for other industry stakeholders who want to play a part in the development of training packages.   

How are training packages developed?

Industry is at the centre of developing effective training packages, based on the following process.

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Useful links to VET information  

There are several resources below that are relevant to the broader VET sector and training package development with links to further information.

  • Understanding Australia’s Vet Sector: A short video from Australian Skills Quality Authority providing an overview of the Australian VET sector. 
  • National Careers Institute (NCI): The NCI was established so that Australians have improved access to accurate and up-to-date career information and support regardless of their age or career stage. The NCI’s vision is to be Australia’s recognised source of independent and impartial careers information. 
    • Your Career: A platform of the NCI designed to provide clear and simple careers information and to help people of all ages and circumstances plan and manage their career.
  • My Skills: The national directory of VET organisations and courses. It is an Australian Government initiative to enable individuals to search for, and compare, VET courses and training providers.
  • National Skills Commission (NSC): Provides trusted and independent intelligence on Australia’s labour market, future workforce changes and current and emerging skills needs.  This includes the performance of the VET system and opportunities to improve access, skills development and choice for regional, rural and remote Australia in relation to VET. 
  • National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER):  The national professional body responsible for collecting, managing, analysing and communicating research and statistics on the VET sector.
    • National Industry Insights Report (NIIR): The NIIR presents a customised analysis of Australian labour market data on skills needs, training patterns, and economic and employment trends. It brings this data together with grassroots industry intelligence and other literature to assist Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) in the design and development of training packages to meet industry needs, now and into the future.
  • VetNet: A national central storage facility for current and historical materials relating to the VET sector, in particular companion volumes and implementation guides.
  • Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA):  The national regulator for VET which registers training providers and accredits VET courses to ensure national approved standards are met.
  • (TGA): National Register on VET in Australia of:
  1. Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) which consists of:
    • Skill sets
    • Accredited courses
    • Units of competency
    • Qualifications
    • Training Packages
  2. Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who have the approved scope to deliver NRT as required by national and jurisdictional legislation within Australia.
  • Skills Reform Website: Provides updates and information regarding the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reforms and ways to be involved in consultations. Recognising the importance of a high-quality VET system that works for everyone, Australian governments (both at the national and state and territory level) have agreed to immediately progress reforms in strengthening the role of industry and employers, improving VET qualifications and raising the quality of training.

Current government initiatives to drive economic recovery in the VET sector 

  • JobTrainer: If you are aged 17-24 or looking for work, you may be able to study a free or low-fee course through JobTrainer. This initiative will fund around 320,000 additional training places that can help individuals learn skills for jobs in demand. 
  • JobMaker: An incentive for businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16–35 years. 
  • Supporting Apprentices and Trainees Wage Subsidy: Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of an eligible apprentice or trainee’s wages paid until 31 March 2021. 

Useful Links on the AISC Website

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