CEO Update – September 2017

This month culminated in a landmark event for Australian Industry Standards, with the inaugural AIS Skills Forum taking place in Melbourne on 31 August. I would like to convey the sincere appreciation of the AIS Board of Directors to all attendees for the investment of their time and valuable contributions throughout the day.

By any measure the Skills Forum was an outstanding success, bringing together the leaders of each of the Industry Reference Committees AIS supports to engage with key government officials, and representatives from VET and industry peak bodies to focus on solutions that bridge the gap between skills supply and demand.

The event was live webcast to all IRC members and more detail about the day is contained later in this newsletter. A particular highlight for me was the Industry Roundtable – where the discussion centred on the role of Training Packages in delivering cross-industry skills and exploration of options for collaboration across IRC boundaries.

The genesis of the Skills Forum was the 2017 IRC Skills Forecasts completed in April 2017. It was clear to AIS that several common themes emerged so an opportunity for IRCs to expand on their areas of concern was established. Conversations were deliberately future focussed with keynote speakers setting the stage about the potential impact of disruption on the Australian economy and the likely changes to job roles and skills across industry sectors before the Industry Roundtable.

Participant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, in particular the benefits of cross industry collaboration and the sharing of insights and experiences with other IRC leaders. The media release for the event is available here.

Reflecting on the success and impact of the Skills Forum I have commenced planning with my team on a range of follow up activities which will create opportunities for broader industry engagement and input into our AIS strategic planning as we strive to meet the challenges and opportunities that disruption will bring to the industries we support as a Skills Service Organisation.

The biannual Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) / IRC Chairs / SSO meeting was held on 1 September. This meeting is an opportunity for IRC Chairs to provide feedback to the AISC about key issues and suggestions about how the Training Package development process can be improved to enhance national VET system outcomes.

I was pleased to facilitate a training standards workshop at the 2017 ALC Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit recently which gave me the opportunity to highlight the excellent work of the Transport and Logistics IRC related to supply chain skills, safety and regulatory compliance.

I also presented at the TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) Convention 2017 and participated in a panel discussion on the re-invigoration of apprenticeships. Consultation with our IRCs has reinforced the vital need to ensure that apprenticeship training is flexible and adaptive to meet industry’s needs.

Continuing our work on international skills projects, I recently presented to another international delegation, this time from the Indonesian Post Office. The delegation was in Australia to learn how our National VET System supports industry and explore opportunities to develop similar industry engagement and skills development strategies in Indonesia.

Finally, I congratulate Dr Irene Ioannakis on her appointment as a commissioner of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the VET independent regulator. Dr Ioannakis is a respected leader in the VET sector with over 30 years of experience and will enhance ASQA’s capacity to promote high quality standards of VET delivery.