CEO Update – December 2017

2017 has been another busy year for Australian Industry Standards, in which we have partnered with industry to fulfill our mission of establishing a highly adaptive, skilled and productive workforce.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our industry stakeholders for your ongoing support. A big thank you goes to our IRC Chairs and Committee members for their outstanding contribution this year. Your work in partnership with AIS ensures industry has a strong voice on the future skills of the workforce.

At the heart of our business are our services as a Skills Service Organisation (SSO). I am proud of the support our team at AIS has provided to our 11 Industry Reference Committees (IRCs). This is evidenced by the 11 Industry Skills Forecasts, which identify the new and emerging skill needs of the IRCs’ sectors, and the 38 Training Package projects already completed or underway.

Capturing new and emerging skill needs is no small feat. We’re making it possible by harnessing the expertise of industry stakeholders and through our internal research and analysis capability.

AIS is continuing to engage with and build our extensive industry networks. This year, AIS representatives attended 39 industry and education forums and presented at 24 of these key events.

These forums enable us to promote VET and showcase the work being done on behalf of industry by IRCs and AIS. They also give an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input into the skills agenda.

In August, we held the inaugural AIS Skills Forum in Melbourne. Leaders of each IRC, government officials, representatives from VET and industry peak bodies came together to focus on solutions that bridge the gap between skills supply and demand. Keynote speakers articulated the potential impact of disruption on the Australian economy and the likely changes to job roles and skills. Feedback about the event was overwhelmingly positive. Participants acknowledged the benefits of cross-industry collaboration and the potential for sharing more insights from the different industry sectors AIS supports.

Building on the success of the forum, AIS has commenced the delivery nationally of AIS Skills Development workshops. We recently held workshops in Melbourne and Perth, which attracted capacity attendances. There is clearly a thirst for knowledge about industry trends and the new wave of disrupters, such as automation and robotics, that will impact on the workforce skills of the future.

AIS is also leading the Supply Chain Skills Cross Sector Project. This is one of seven cross-sector projects commissioned by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) to help ensure Australia’s supply chains remain productive, efficient and skilled.

Our research and analysis capability is a core strength of the AIS team. This year we released the Aviation Workforce Skills Study and a working paper Developing workforce skills for Australia’s digital economy, produced in partnership with RMIT University. Both these pieces of work provide a sound evidence base for decisions about future skills development.

AIS has commenced the facilitation of a critical research project to identify existing educational pathways covering ‘Logistics Skills’ in both higher education and vocational education and to uncover any potential gaps in the current offerings. This Tertiary Pathways Project – Transport and Logistics, is being funded by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.

Separate to our SSO activities, we commenced work with one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Australia, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal. AIS is providing a range of strategic workforce development advisory and management services to ensure there’ll be a highly skilled workforce in place to operate the Terminal.

We’ve also continued to work with NSW Government in our continuing role as an Industry Training Advisory Body. We provide advice on training and related matters to support the VET system for the Public Sector, which includes the Corrections, Local Government, Public Safety and Water industries.

Internationally, our expertise in occupational skills standards is in demand. During the year we’ve supported the Australian Government’s Free Trade Agreement negotiations with trading partners throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. In total, we’ve worked with 14 countries as far afield as Chile and Peru and as close to home as Vietnam.

2017 also saw the completion of the National Workforce Development Fund, an Australian Government program aimed at helping businesses lift their workforce capacity. Since 2011 AIS has administered 112 projects, resulting in over 6,000 workers from across 225 enterprises to achieve a qualification or receive training.

I extend my best wishes to all our industry stakeholders for a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
We look forward to another successful year in 2018.