CEO Update – June 2020

The success of Australian businesses, communities, and the national economy, now and into the future, relies on a workforce with world-class skills. Building these skills requires a VET system that is responsive, agile, and forward-thinking. This has been highlighted recently through a range of Government and industry announcements and reports, the latest being the Productivity Commissioner’s interim report released last week on the review of the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development.

AIS is committed to remaining responsive and innovative to skills development.  From logistics and supply chains, to corrections, airport security, battery storage and design, Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) supported by AIS are working to quickly deliver training packages in response to current and arising industry needs.

In addition to our recent efforts in supporting COVID-19 recovery strategies, our work includes responding to skills needs in areas vital to economic development such as intermodal logistics hubs, the rail corridor, and rail warehousing and logistics, where two qualifications and 20 Units of Competency have recently been updated by the Transport and Logistics IRC. This work ensures employees can engage effectively with high levels of task automation and new technologies to deliver industry efficiencies.    

With more than $100 billion committed by government for rail infrastructure projects and upgrades to 2030, the Rail IRC is developing the skills required to ensure these projects are successfully delivered.  Development of four streamed qualifications and a review of 39 Skill Sets and 90 Units has been at the forefront of this work.

Australia has the highest market penetration of residential renewable technology in the world, making speedy development of skills to support this growth vital to our energy future. The ESI Generation and Transmission, Distribution and Rail IRC’s are developing Units of Competency to ensure the workforce has the skills necessary to support the rapidly increasing demand for new energy technologies.

I would also like to mention the work of our business unit, AIS Global, in supporting skills development internationally. This week, AIS Global staff facilitated the second in a series of coaching sessions by the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Transport & Logistics IRC for executives of Vietnam’s pilot Logistics Industry Reference Council (LIRC). Drawing on their experience and position at the forefront of skills development in Australia, Mark McKenzie and Cathi Payne are working with their Vietnamese peers to share key learnings from the important work undertaken in Australia such as skills forecasting and COVID-19 recovery efforts. I’d like to thank both Mark and Cathi for their contributions. AIS Global has also facilitated an online workshop this week to develop an innovative Gender Equality, Diversity and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Strategy for a Ho Chi Minh City based VET college. The strategy will be released shortly and is an important milestone in the establishment of an industry-led VET system in Vietnam.

Robert Adams