In a major speech, the Prime Minister said the recommendations from the Joyce Review provide the blueprint for reforms to the vocational education and training system and that the necessary legislation to achieve this will be presented to the parliament during this term of parliament.
Key Issues —
The message from the Prime Minister that there is recognition that the economy is growing and changing that the view of the Australian Government is that skills system needs to grow and change with it.
The comment was made in the context of a change in the demand for skills that is shifting from manufacturing to the services sector and emerging industries like advanced manufacturing, ICT and cyber-security. To achieve this the Prime Minister said that the vocational education system needs an upgrade to ensure it remains world-class, modern and flexible.
Prior to the election the Australian Government commissioned the Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training System to examine ways to deliver skilled workers for a stronger economy. The review was led by the Honourable Steven Joyce, a former New Zealand Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. Mr Joyce delivered the final report to the Government in March 2019.
The Prime Minister said that this review will now guide the changes we will seek to make during this term of parliament as a key component the Australian Government’s economic plan.
The Review acknowledges the good work undertaken in the sector so far, but says VET needs to adapt so it can support important and emerging industries and become a first choice for students who want to pursue technical careers.
Significantly, the Prime Minister stated that the Australian Government is of the view that learning through a vocational education is just as valuable as a university degree, so we want to transform the way we deliver skills, support employers and fund training
Amongst the recommendations in the Review being progressed by the Australian Government is a National Skills Commission and a new National Careers Institute to give people the information they need to decide their future careers and the best pathways to get them into a job.
A supporting reform will be to simplifying and targeting increases in apprenticeship incentives. The Australian Government’s target is to create up to 80,000 additional apprentices over five years in priority skill shortage areas through a new apprenticeship incentive.
The Review’s recommendations are wide ranging and responsibilities for the sector are shared. The Prime Minister said that the vocational education sector is one of my key priorities and that he indents to make it a primary focus of discussion with states and territories at COAG.
The Prime Minister’s comments were made in a speech to the Western Australia Chamber of Commerce in the last week of June 2019.
The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) will be meeting with senior advisors from the Prime Minister’s office next week to provide the independent tertiary education sector’s response to the Review.
ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals belonging to the ITECA Vocational Education Sector Interest Group.
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