Educations & Skills Departments Join

Date —

05 Dec 2019

Industry Sector/s —
Vocational Education & Training, Higher Education

Summary —

In one of the most sweeping reforms of Australian Government departments in a generation, education and skills will again come under the responsibility of one department, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. 

Key Issues —

The creation of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, brought about by today’s Australian Government departmental restructure, has been welcomed by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the higher education, vocational education, training and skills sectors.

Working with the advice of its members, ITECA has long believed that the consolidation of employment and skills within the one portfolio presents the best opportunity to secure the reforms that will allow students and their employers to obtain the quality outcomes they are looking for.

ITECA’s members have presented the case for a strong proponent for one tertiary education system in which the higher education and the vocational education and training system operate as one yet retain their separate identities. It’s in this context that ITECA supports the return of skills within the education portfolio.

It’s a period of major change for Australia’s tertiary education system where the qualifications framework, funding models and the work of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) are all under review. Aligning responsibilities for education and skills within the one portfolio provides the best opportunity to strengthen the system.

The reforms underway require careful planning and implementation – it’s challenging work for the public servants responsible for progressing reforms and key stakeholders such as ITECA. The hope is that with the education and skills portfolios operating as one, we’ll see a considered and coordinated approach to development and implementation of these important reforms.

According to ITECA, the creation of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment will directly benefit, over the long-term, tertiary education students.

Once a person leaves secondary school it’s likely they will transit out of higher education and vocational education throughout their working lives in order to ensure that their knowledge and skills remains current. To create a tertiary education system that permits this to happen we need a wholistic approach to reform, something best achieved with the amalgam of the education and skills portfolios.

The structural change of departmental responsibilities within the Australian Government are of profound importance to the independent tertiary education sector. Independent providers support more than 70% of the 4.1 million students undertaking VET program, including 58% of students undertaking a VET Diploma, 64% of students undertaking a Certificate IV and 58% of students undertaking a Certificate III. Independent providers also support around 10% of the students in higher education.

Member Engagement —

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 Vocational Education and Higher Education Reference Committee.

Further Information —

For more information on this issue please send an email to {{INSERT EMAIL}} or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter @ITECAust or via Facebook at

Disclaimer & Copyright:

The material published on this website page is intended for general information only and is not legal advice or other professional advice.  It may not be reproduced without ITECA’s prior written consent.

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