CEO Update – April 2019

I would like to thank all industry stakeholders who provided input and feedback into the 11 IRC Skills Forecasts that will be submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) on 30 April. These documents, developed under the leadership of the IRC’s on behalf on the industries they represent, are a critical snapshot of current and emerging skilling priorities and enable the AISC to make evidence-based decisions on the approval of training package development for the next financial year.

Last year AIS facilitated Industry Skills Forums in every capital city. These forums provided an excellent opportunity to discuss both current and emerging skilling priorities and provided a platform for stakeholders to directly inform the development of the IRC 2019 Skills Forecasts. During the forums, stakeholders made it clear that the key themes and issues, which were uncovered, should be drawn together and shared. On behalf of our IRC’s we are releasing a booklet titled Future Skilling Our Workforce – a national conversation. Read more and access the eBooklet.

I would like to extend my congratulations to our Water IRC Chair, John Harris from Wannon Water which won the ‘Best Tasting Tap Water in Australia’ competition before going on to represent Australia at the 29th annual Berkeley Spring competition in West Virginia, which selects the best tasting water in the world. Wannon Water won the silver medal at this prestigious competition. John has made an outstanding contribution to the water industry and has been absolutely committed to developing the capability of its workforce by helping to create a high-quality National Water Training Package.

Members of the AIS team joined Transport and Logistics IRC Deputy Chair, Cathi Payne, IRC member Julie Russell, and road transport industry stakeholders at the Australian Trucking Association’s annual conference, Trucking Australia 2019, held in Perth on 3-5 April. Our Chief Operating Officer, Paul Walsh, joined a panel of road transport representatives to discuss the key skilling challenges for the industry. With anticipated workforce growth of 5.6% (16,500 jobs) over the next 5 years, the demand for skilled drivers in the industry presents a significant challenge. The industry is keen to focus on the opportunity to increase skills, create career pathways and make the industry even more attractive. These opportunities are complimented by current qualifications in the Transport & Logistics Training Package, along with the work proposed by the Transport and Logistics IRC.

The first Sydney Metro Trains on the North West Link in Sydney will be commencing operation later this month with 31 new state-of-the-art, fully accessible metro stations. As a member of the Sydney Metro Workforce Advisory Committee I have been very impressed by the wide range of workforce development programs promoting employment opportunities for both disadvantaged people and members of the local communities living in north western Sydney. The initiatives have included pathway and placement programs for the long-term unemployed and a range of Indigenous employment programs, including Australia’s first Indigenous-focused Rail Infrastructure Traineeship. Another focus has been on promoting to local schools the broad range of career opportunities that the project will deliver.

As has been previously covered in our newsletters, the federal government commissioned an Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training System, led by the Hon Steven Joyce, which has now been released. Read the report. Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash has released the Government’s Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package as part of the governments’ budget announcements last week.