CEO Update – March 2020

Over the last six weeks all 11 Industry Reference Committees we support have held their first meetings for the year to finalise the draft 2020 Skills Forecasts and Proposed Schedules of Work which prioritise the skill needs of their industry sectors and propose future Training Package development activity. This year the IRCs have also developed an Industry Outlook to provide an annual update on the challenges and opportunities, employment and skills outlook for the industry sectors that each IRC has responsibility for.

All industry stakeholders will have the opportunity to review the drafts from Tuesday, 17 March to close of business Monday, 30 March 2020. Each IRC will approve the final version of their 2020 Skills Forecasts and Proposed Schedules of Work to be submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) on 30 April.

A number of the IRCs have also conducted site visits in conjunction with meetings, adding to their knowledge of contemporary industry needs. In recent weeks the Water and Gas committees have visited the Beenyup Wastewater Treatment Plant in Perth and ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Hub respectively. We thank these organisations for their warm welcome of the groups and valuable insights into skills needs.

Also, on the IRCs, I offer a warm welcome to Tony Saxby from Data Electricity who replaces Richard Harvey as Chair of ESI Generation IRC. We thank Richard for his leadership and support over the past few years.

You will likely be aware that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Skills Council is developing a VET reform roadmap and has now released The Vocational Education and Training (VET) Reform Roadmap Consultation Draft  and a micro-credentials discussion paper. AIS continues to lend our experience and expertise to these reform processes where requested. Read more about these papers and the consultation processes later in this newsletter.

Robert Adams with Trevor Schwenke, CEO WorldSkills Australia

I was delighted to attend the ‘TAFE Meets Parliament’ reception in Canberra on 24 February. This event showcased the contribution that TAFEs make across the country. The event brought together Ministers and Parliamentarians with senior TAFE and industry leaders at a critical time for the sector.

On 21 February I was also invited to address the TAFE Tasmania Board and Executive to add to their understanding of training package development processes.

Last week I was delighted to meet with Trevor Schwenke who recently became CEO of Worldskills Australia after a long career in the TAFE sector both in Queensland and Victoria. The WorldSkills Australia program is vital to help promote and drive awareness of the opportunities for young people provided by the VET sector.

Finally, congratulations to Caroline Wilkie who recently commenced in her new role as CEO of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA). We look forward to working with Caroline and the ARA on their industry skills needs.


With best wishes.