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CEO Update – November 2017

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) was delighted to support the 2017 Aviation Aerospace Australia Skills Summit in Melbourne last month. In my opening address, I spoke about the workforce transformation occurring in the Australian economy. I emphasised the critical role our Aviation Industry Reference Committee (IRC) has in developing skill strategies to enable businesses and workers to navigate this transition.

The summit was a highly successful event with a diverse range of expert speakers from key industry organisations. These included Siemens, Thales, BAE Systems, Royal Australian Airforce, Lockheed Martin and the Space Industry Association of Australia. With the theme of the summit being Skilling for the Future, much of the discussion was around Automation and Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the changing workforce. Nicolette Barnard (Head of HR Pacific, Siemens) spoke on how the workforce must be adaptable and that we must re-think the way we look at training the future generations. She emphasised that industry must take the lead.

Dan Minton, our Industry Manager at AIS, explained that while it’s important to have enough skilled workers on the ground to manage existing and emerging technologies, we must also develop instructors and trainers able to maintain the flow of the right skills into the industry. Dan also showcased the Aviation IRC’s current activities, including projects on transport security and remote pilot (drones).

Next week, we will get the opportunity to celebrate outstanding achievements in our VET system at the 2017 National Training Awards in Canberra.

This prestigious event follows the 44th Worldskills Competition held in Abu Dhabi last month where Australia’s ‘Skillaroos’ elevated us into the top 10 skills nations in the world. Their performance resulted in 14 members of the team of 17 finishing in the top 10 and receiving the coveted Medallion of Excellence. The event involved participants from 77 countries, competing across 51 skills categories.

Chair of WorldSkills Australia, Brian Wexham, congratulated the team on their achievement. “This was an outstanding result for Australia, and emphasises the immense quality of our vocational education and training system. The success of students in Abu Dhabi will serve as an inspiration to other young Australians,” Mr Wexham said. Well done to everyone involved.

VET has been the subject of two research papers, released by The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), into students’ post-school aspirations for vocational education and training.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, said the reports show that students see VET as a path of practical and hands-on learning, offering great opportunities and employment prospects.

“VET provides an excellent career pathway with 78 per cent of graduates employed after training.” Minister Andrews said.

AIS is continuing to work closely with the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Workforce Advisory Group (MITWAG) to promote the employment, skilling and career opportunities being generated by the development of Moorebank Logistics Park in southwest Sydney. Over 1,300 jobs are expected to be created during construction of the Park and over 6,800 once operations are at full capacity.

The last meeting of the advisory group was attended by officers from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the NSW Premiers Department, who discussed indigenous employment pathway programs and opportunities.

I look forward to catching up with stakeholders at the first of our Skills Development workshops in Melbourne and Perth in the coming weeks. These workshops are aimed at fostering a clearer understanding of the development of Training Packages and will support IRCs to identify workforce skills priorities. They build on the AIS Skills Forum held in August this year which highlighted the new wave of disrupters affecting the skills our industries require. You will see in other articles in this newsletter that responding to these disrupters is becoming a priority across the industries AIS is engaged with.

Pictured above: L-H Tamara Bell, Executive Director, Aviation Aerospace Australia; Dan Minton, Industry Manager, Australian Industry Standards; Robert Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Industry Standards; Linda Spurr, Board Director, Aviation Aerospace Australia.