Skills shift coming
Victoria’s skills minister says her state’s system should be replicated on a national scale.
The Albanese Government has pledged to create a new agency, Jobs and Skills Australia, to replace the National Skills Commission. It says it needs to strengthen workforce planning by pulling together employers, unions and the training sector, and deal with national funding arrangements.
On the eve of the election, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Jobs and Skills Australia would “include private representatives and business representatives as well as different levels of government”.
“[It’s job] is to identify what are the skills that we’ll need this year, next year, five years, 10 years time,” he said.
“How do we train Australians for those jobs? How does the migration system fit in with that, and make sure that we get a better match-up of the labour market with the skills that Australia needs.”
The new body is set to overhaul the current system by which state and federal ministers bash out funding agreements.
It could also bring about a broad rethink of national vocational qualifications and training packages to make them more flexible and adaptable to local needs.
“It’s no secret we have been having conversations with federal Labor for some time based on our experiences here in Victoria,” says Gayle Tierney, Victoria’s skills minister.
“We have made it an issue for government to deliver skills training that is highly relevant to the economy and to industry.
“We are hoping there will be a much more collaborative approach… it’s no secret that the relationship [with the Morrison government] was quite fractious.”
Jobs and Skills Australia will oversee the allocation of 465,000 fee-free TAFE places, including 45,000 additional places.
The government will be looking to avoid a repeat or worsening of the current funding crisis, which ground to a halt last year after Labor states and territories refused to keep negotiating with then-skills minister Stuart Robert, who they said kept pushing a draft agreement that they had rejected.