The nature of work and the skill requirements of South Australia’s workforce have changed since the Training and Skills Development Act 2008 (SA) was enacted more than ten years ago, the government in that state says it needs an update to better support the growth of future industries, automation and digitisation.
Key Issues —
The review of the Skills Development Act 2008 (SA) responds to key recommendations from the Training and Skills Commission’s Skills for Future Jobs 2020 Series: Future-proofing the Apprenticeship and Traineeship System report. This report canvassed the views of a range of stakeholders on how well the apprenticeships and traineeship system works and whether it meets contemporary needs.
The South Australian Training and Skills Commission future-proofing review and the review of the Act are important pillars for supporting the Government’s objective to create more than 20,800 additional apprenticeships and traineeship places over four years through the Skilling South Australia initiative; which will support more South Australians into meaningful, long-term careers.
The review of the Act is also aimed at ensuring businesses and industries at the forefront of innovation and cutting-edge technologies have access to a skilled workforce.
The Act provides the framework for skills development and training delivery in South Australia, it defines the role of the Training and Skills Commission, the Training Advocate and Minister with responsibility for training and skills development. The review will consider improvements to the Act in relation to:
- Streamlining business requirements and processes under the Act, for example, in relation to employer registration, and training contracts and training plans;
- Ensuring the rights and responsibilities of the apprentice, employer and training provider are clear under the Act;
- Ensuring the protections under the Act for parties to a training contract (employers, apprentices and trainees) are working and that the Act’s dispute resolution processes are effective;
- Whether penalties in the Act are properly targeted and proportionate and how compliance functions around apprenticeships and traineeships should be handled;
- Flexibilities in relation to pathways to an apprenticeship or traineeship and to trade certifications;
- Whether the Act provides appropriately for Group Training Organisations (GTOs) as distinct from other employers; and
- The role of training contracts in relation to skill sets of micro-credentials.
The Act also sets the regulatory framework for apprenticeships and traineeships.
Given its role as the peak body representing the independent tertiary education system that includes the vocational education and training sector, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) has been invited by the Australian Government to provide commentary on this review.
ITECA’s primary policy objective is to ensure that the legislative arrangements supporting skills in South Australia will allow independent providers to work alongside public providers on an equal footing.
ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA South Australian Committee.
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