Ten pieces of a pie: new Jobs and Skills Councils – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Ten pieces of a pie: new Jobs and Skills Councils – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Often lots happens in our skills sector in the week or so before Christmas, and 2022 is running true to form. Yesterday Minister O’Connor announced the ten new Jobs and Skills Councils (previously referred to as Industry Clusters).

Also, true to form in VET, an acronym has been adopted. These Jobs and Skills Councils become JSCs.

JSCs are not to be confused with JSA (Jobs and Skills Australia), which is the overarching body to which these ten will be connected. On that note, don’t forget to join us to hear from Interim JSA Director Professor Peter Dawkins on Wednesday 25 January at TAFETalks – register below.

TDA congratulates those industry groups who will be leading a JSC. We look forward to working with you in the new year as you actively engage with TAFEs in training product design and delivery.

Once TAFEs and RTOs were excluded from being on the governance of JSCs, education and training could not be industry led. Consequently, TDA supports the decision of different arrangements for education and training and looks forward to furthering these discussions with DEWR.

Read the details below … and once again, have a safe and happy break.

Successful Jobs and Skills Councils announced

The federal government has announced the new network of tripartite, industry-led organisations, known as Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs), that will address the country’s skills and workforce needs.

After months of collaboration, design and negotiation, the final ten JSCs to emerge from the stage one process are in the following industry sectors:

•    Agribusiness
•    Arts, Personal Services, Retail, Tourism and Hospitality
•    Energy, Gas and Renewables
•    Finance, Technology and Business
•    Manufacturing
•    Mining and Automotive
•    Transport and Logistics
•    Public Safety and Government
•    Early Educators, Health and Human Services
•    Building, Construction and Property

JSCs will work in partnership with Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) to align workforce planning for their sectors. This will entail determining skills needs and training pathways by combining industry-specific intelligence with JSA’s forecasting and modelling.

The federal government is investing $402 million over the next four years to establish the JSCs which will replace Skills Service Organisations (SSOs) and Industry Reference Committees (IRCs).

The Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said the JSCs will bring all parties to the table to find solutions to the workforce challenges and skills needs currently facing industry sectors across Australia.

“This commitment to tripartite leadership will bring together employers and unions that work in partnership with governments and the training sector,” he said.

The successful Stage One JSCs will now move into their establishment phase in order to set up the organisations, recruit personnel and put in place governance structures.

Stage Two of the of the process will commence shortly and will see the newly established JSCs provide an operational and delivery strategy detailing how they will carry out the full range of functions.

JSCs will be operational from January 2023.

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) has published a detailed outline of the sector coverage of all JSCs.

One intriguing outcome is that the TAE Training and Education and FSK Foundation Skills training packages are not included in any of the JSCs.

DEWR says that during stage one, “no applicant demonstrated sufficient ability to effectively represent the education and training industry and take on responsibility for the Training and Education and Foundation Skills training packages.”

DEWR says that given these sectors’ unique characteristics, the department is considering “alternative arrangements” to best serve the education industry sector.

Anyone interested in engaging with the Jobs and Skills Councils once they have been established can register on the DEWR Industry Engagement Reforms home page.

A number of successful consortia have emerged from the tightly contested process.

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) will establish the JSC for Transport and Logistics.

“We’re genuinely excited to leverage our capabilities, heritage, and trusted relationships, working with the wide range of stakeholders who are central to building a world class, agile and resilient supply chain workforce,” Paul Walsh, CEO of AIS said.

IBSA Group will establish the JSC to support manufacturing skills.

“We are committed to establishing the industry-owned, industry-led JSC as soon as possible and getting on with the task of boosting manufacturing skills for employers and workers,” CEO Sharon Robertson said.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) will oversee the setup of a
separate entity known as ‘Workforce Equipped’ as the JSC for Arts, Personal Services, Retail, Tourism and Hospitality.

“The new entity will be tri-partite, not-for-profit, with a number of Employee and Employer organisations and ARA members as foundation voting members,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said.

The Digital Skills Organisation has been selected to commence stage one transition to become a JSC for the Finance, Business and Technology sectors.

A consortium including NECA and the ETU will commence work on the JSC for Energy, Gas and Renewables.

See Minister O’Connor’s media release

See a series of departmental FAQs on the JSCs.

Register for the first TAFETalks of 2023 - Jobs and Skills Australia - 2023 priorities and impact on TAFE

TDA is delighted to announce that Professor Peter Dawkins, Interim Director of Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA), will join TAFETalks for one of his first presentations.

In this webinar, TDA CEO, Jenny Dodd will facilitate a discussion with Peter on the JSA’s initial priorities.

The Australian Government has established JSA to provide expert advice to government on Australia’s skills, labour market and workforce needs and priorities.

JSA will take an economy-wide approach, and engage with stakeholders to support deeper analysis of Australia’s education and training systems and workforce challenges. Professor Dawkins was appointed by the Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, as the Interim Director of Jobs and Skills Australia.

To register for this event, please click here

Commonwealth signs skills agreement with Queensland

The federal government has signed a $200 million 12-month skills agreement with Queensland which will see 37,000 fee-free TAFE and VET places in 2023.

It is estimated there will be approximately 10,300 fee-free places in the care sector, 12,000 aligned to the technology and digital sectors, 1,600 places in hospitality and tourism, 5,300 in construction, 900 in agriculture and 6,900 places in sovereign capability including the manufacturing sector.

Under the agreement $9.68 million will be provided in matched funding to TAFE Queensland and Central Queensland University to enable them to provide wrap around support to participating students, including the priority cohorts.

See more

Focus on technical skills results in a narrow view of workplace competency: NCVER

The emphasis on technical skills in Australia’s VET sector narrows the definition of what it means to be competent in the workplace, and is out of step with other developed countries, according to new research from NCVER.

For the last 30 years, competency-based training (CBT) has been the main training
approach used by the Australian VET sector for all types and levels of vocational

A new paper, ‘Adding value to competency-based training’, looks at whether CBT is the best approach to training and assessment.

It says that non-technical skills and interpersonal attributes such as critical
thinking, innovation, self-direction, ethics, and integrity – which are included in other
countries’ approach to CBT – are often not explicitly taught, assessed, and recognised in Australia.

“Teaching and recognition of non-technical competencies are critical as these help learners to transfer knowledge and skills gained in one context to another,” the paper says.

It also suggests that it may be time to move on from applying a single training approach for all types of vocational qualifications to a differentiated training and assessment paradigm.

“Further consideration too could be given to the use of graded or proficiency-based assessment,” NCVER says.

“However, shifting to this would need further debate to ensure that it does not become burdensome for VET teachers and students, and thus make an already complex VET system more complicated.”

Opening for regional operations director in PNG

The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) is seeking applications for the role of Regional Operations Director, based in Port Moresby, PNG.

The Regional Operations Director has accountability for the fiduciary oversight and management of legal, contractual and risk management functions and operations of the APTC.

This includes providing high level financial advice and reliable information to senior management and ensuring APTC complies with all statutory, legal and audit requirements and that internal and external audit processes are managed appropriately.

Applications close 9:59pm PNG Time, Wednesday 21 December 2022.

See more

Diary Dates

AVETRA 2023 Conference
27-28 April 2023
More information

World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) 2023 World Congress
23-25 April 2023
Montréal, Canada
More information

Journal of Vocational Education and Training (JVET) Conference
13-15 July 2023
Keble College, Oxford, UK
More information

32nd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference ‘No Frills’
19-21 July 2023
RMIT University, Melbourne
More information

2023 VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
17-18 August 2023 – save the date

2023 National VET Conference
2-3 November 2023
Gold Coast
More Information