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What’s new in VET and research – April 2015

New arrangements for Training Product Development – Part of Statement from Federal Government

Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, the federal minister with responsibilities for skills, has today announced the Government’s new approach to training product development for Australian industry.

Over 300 responses were received to the Government’s discussion paper, Industry Engagement in Training Package Development – Towards a Contestable Model. The overwhelming response was that improvements are needed to ensure the system was more responsive to the needs of industry, and that the point of exchange between the training system, industry bodies and other key players, currently Industry Reference Committees, will need to be strengthened. The Minister has listened to these views. Under the new arrangements, the Industry Reference Committees will have clear responsibilities for training products in their industry sectors.

They will be supported by new independent, professional service bodies, which will be contracted through an open process. These bodies will be contracted to service and support committees and to conduct industry scanning and training product development under the direction of the committees. The contracting arrangements will introduce a level of contestability into these arrangements to:

  • ensure industries, enterprises and employers are driving the training product process so that skills standards and competencies align with modern work-practices;
  • ensure all industry stakeholders can have their say on the training needs of their current and future employees, and changes can be made if industries are not being listened to;
  • drive greater cross-industry skills standards, recognising that many core skills are common across industries, to simplify training packages for students, employers and training providers;
  • promote excellence through specialisations and higher level skills; and
  • achieve efficiencies for taxpayers through improved scheduling of this work.

The newly formed Australian Industry and Skills Committee, a group of industry representatives established to advise the Commonwealth, States and Territories, will oversight the new arrangements to ensure the work of the committees and service bodies is timely and relevant to industry.

The process will fund organisations that can demonstrate they are best placed to serve the needs of the industry reference committees. In doing so, the Government is ensuring that industry is leading the development and updating of training products, that:

  • the products set the outcomes of training that employers expect of their workers;
  • training gives students skills at an accepted Australia-wide standard and improves their chances of securing a job or moving up in their career; and
  • the national training system offer employers an assurance that employees have been trained to an industry standard and bring the skills needed to boost workplace productivity.

The Government has made clear that its funding to Industry Skills Councils under current arrangements will cease at 30 June 2015.



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