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CEO Update – December 2018

2018 has been a very productive year for Australian Industry Standards, in which we have strengthened our partnership with industry to fulfill our mission of establishing a highly adaptive, skilled and productive workforce.

My sincere appreciation to our IRC Chairs and Committee members for their outstanding contribution again this year. Your work goes a long way to ensuring that your industry’s workforce is prepared with the skills required to handle current industry requirements and adapt to future technological innovations.

A big thank you to our industry stakeholders for your ongoing support. I very much value your contribution to improving skills outcomes.

The dedicated team at AIS continues to provide great support to our 11 IRCs. This is evidenced by the 11 Industry Skills Forecasts they produce each year to identify the new and emerging skill needs of the IRCs’ sectors and, in 2018, the 40 Training Package projects already completed or underway.

AIS is continuing to engage with and build our extensive industry networks. This year, AIS representatives attended 62 industry and education forums and presented at 25 of these key events. These forums enable us to showcase the work being done by IRCs and AIS. They also give an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input into the skills agenda.

A centrepiece of our engagement with stakeholders this year was our inaugural Industry Skills Forums, held in each capital city around the country. The forums were an outstanding success. Over 1000 stakeholders from across the industries we support joined industry leaders in discussions about future skilling in an age of digital transformation and new thinking about jobs and careers.

The message from the forums was clear. With digital transformation and new technologies rapidly changing the employment landscape and the skills required for work, vocational education and agile workplace learning are essential for all businesses. Ensuring people have the right skills at the right time has never been more important. While technology is changing much about how we do our jobs, it is people who will transform the workplace.

The forums were a critical activity for AIS in supporting IRCs to develop Training Packages that meet the needs of industry. They have informed our internal research and analysis agenda and, together with the knowledge and expertise of our IRC industry members, will help in the production of the 2019 Skills Forecasts.

This year AIS was also commissioned by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) to support two key projects: The Cross-Sector Supply Chain Skills Project and the Digital Transformation IRC. More information about these projects and AIS activities is provided in an article by our Chief Operating Officer Paul Walsh.

Separate to our SSO activities, AIS was also involved in several skills initiatives. We provided strategic workforce development advisory and management services for the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Australia.

Through the NSW Transport and Logistics Tertiary Pathways project, we helped to construct options for the development of career pathways that connect VET and higher education qualifications for the Transport and Logistics industry in NSW.

AIS is also continuing to work with the Vietnamese logistics sector in an Aus4Skills program that is helping to develop the first industry-led VET framework in Vietnam.

I was pleased to attend the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Leaders annual dinner in Canberra on 28 November, where Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an independent review of the VET sector. The review will look at the impact of new technology, future work patterns, VET funding and policy.

Congratulations to Tim Rourke on being elected as the new Chair of the Energy Networks Australia (ENA) Board. Mr Rourke is the Chief Executive Officer of CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy. He succeeds Nino Ficca, who has served the organisation well over the past two years. We look forward to continuing our relationship with ENA and working closely with them in the development of skills for the industry.

After such a busy year, I hope that like all of us here at AIS you are looking forward to a relaxing break over the festive season. With very best wishes for 2019.