Govt announces new model for training product development

A new model for training product development unveiled today places employers and industry at the centre of vocational education and training products.

Announcing the model at the Australian Industry Group in Melbourne today, Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham (pictured) said employers best know what skills and competencies they need in their current and future employees.

“This important overhaul in the way training packages and products are developed is all about responding to the needs of industry, to boost economic growth, business productivity and employment outcomes,” he said.

Under the new arrangements, the responsibility for the development of training packages will pass from Industry Skills Councils to a new model of Industry Reference Committees supported by Skills Service Organisations.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee will have overall responsibility to endorse qualifications, advise on VET quality instruments and provide industry input into VET research and the ministerial council.

The announcement was welcomed by industry groups.

“These new arrangements retain industry at the centre of training package development and the determination of the skills needed for the increasingly competitive and technologically advanced economy," Innes Willox, the Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group said.

Jenny Lambert, the ACCI Director of Employment, Education and Training pointed out that training products are important because “they define the workplace skills needed by plumbers, clerks, electricians, truck drivers and myriad other occupations”.

“Nearly 2 million students undertook a VET qualification in 2014, and 78 per cent of those students are using those skills in a job at one of hundreds of thousands of businesses across Australia, so it is important we ensure graduates have the skills that businesses need,” Lambert said.

The Government will shortly invite proposals from organisations which can demonstrate industry support for them to operate as Skills Service Organisations to provide administrative support to Industry Reference Committees.

According to Senator Birmingham, the new arrangements should be fully operational from January 2016.