CEO Update – November 2018

Thank you to everyone who attended one of the AIS Industry Skills Forums. In wrapping up after the final forum in Adelaide, MC Kerry O’Brien said that at every forum around the country, significant issues and ideas were raised about the pathway that we need to take as a nation. It is critical that these issues have been discussed at this level with the key players and the challenge for AIS now is twofold. The first is to formulate policy advice to take back to government. The second is to continue the conversation.

As a centrepiece of our engagement with stakeholders, the forums have been an outstanding success.  Over 1000 stakeholders from across the industries we support joined industry leaders to talk about current and future skills challenges as we all face a changing world of work. I extend my gratitude to the expert panellists who provided valuable and thought-provoking insights about future skilling in the digital age and new thinking about jobs and careers. We will consolidate the key messages from the series of forums and publish these in next month’s newsletter. A recording of the Melbourne forum will be available on the website.

I am also very appreciative of the contributions attendees made to each of the industry-specific breakout sessions. This input will help AIS industry managers and the IRCs they support to produce skills forecasts that accurately identify skills needed now and into the future and to better establish links between qualifications and job outcomes.

We would be grateful if you could complete a 5-minute survey about your experience at the forum to help improve future industry consultations.

A meeting of leaders from Industry, Government, the education sector, and unions was held before each forum to discuss challenges and opportunities in building a highly productive workforce and ensuring Australia remains globally competitive. The Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer, attended one of these consultations to discuss skills and workforce issues caused by the changing world of work.

I joined the Chairs of the IRCs that we support, along with our colleagues from other sectors, at the IRC Chairs meeting on 27 September. The meeting  was led by Professor John Pollaers OAM, the chair of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC).  The IRC Chairs offered their views about how the Training Package development process can be further streamlined to enhance national VET system outcomes. The forum included a panel on the cross-sector projects the AISC has established to address common skills needs and  minimise duplication of units. AIS’s supply chain skills cross-sector project was offered as an example of best  practice in its approach, as well as its engagement and communication across IRCs. Chair of the Project Reference Group, Mark McKenzie and AIS’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul Walsh, explained how the PRG will first focus  on the identified skills gaps across the VET system for  supply chains, and then developing  units to address those gaps, before having conversations on duplication and obsolete products.

The IRC Chairs also decided to convene a working group to look at superseded, imported units of competency and how they affect training delivery. For the full AISC communique on this meeting click here.

I would like to extend my warm congratulations to our Water Industry Reference Committee Chair, John Harris, who was recently bestowed the rare honour of life membership of the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA). This recognises John’s extraordinary dedication to building skills in the water industry.

Congratulations also to all winners and finalists of the 2018 Australian Training Awards held in Sydney on 15 November. The awards recognised individuals, businesses and RTOs for demonstrating excellence in VET. They highlighted how important VET is for industry and students to prepare for the jobs of today, and the increasingly complex and globalised future of work.