Australia’s transition toward a more environmentally sustainable society is being driven by political, economic, social and environmental imperatives. The transition brings challenges for the vocational education and training (VET) system to ensure that the Australian workforce is equipped with the skills required for new, and more sustainable, ways of working.
Under the direction of the Environmental Sustainability Expert Panel, Skills Impact has worked with the Department to source information on usage and occupational outcomes from existing skill standards and qualifications, with a focus on environmental sustainability.
The Panel has identified significant challenges that are inherent to the project:
- Is addressing environmental sustainability compatible with the current domestic economic model?
- Does environmental sustainability include identifiable and discrete occupations?
- Can environmental sustainability skills and knowledge be transferred between industry contexts?
- Is it possible to develop cross-industry solutions for this topic for the VET system?
Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) have been consulted to answer the above questions. Skills Impact has distributed consultation papers, tailored for each IRC, to gather feedback about environmental suitability, specifically in relation to the skill standards and qualifications for which they are responsible.
A report has been prepared for the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC). The future of the project is expected to be considered at the February 2020 meeting of the AISC.
Environmental Sustainability Expert Panel
The Environmental Sustainability Expert Panel has been convened by the AISC to provide advice to the AISC on:
- The extent of industry demand for environmental sustainability skills and appropriate whole-of-system approaches to the development of these skills in the Australian workforce.
- Strategies for ensuring that stakeholders from existing and emerging industries have input into training product development and reform, including options for ongoing advisory arrangements to inform training system responses to environmental sustainability.
- Rationalising training products through the development of a plan and processes to enable the progression of recommendations from the 2017 Environmental Sustainability Case for Change in accordance with industry need.
The AISC has appointed Skills Impact to support the work of the panel.
The panel brings together experts from relevant industry sectors.
|Ray Fogolyan||Australian Building Sustainability Association|
|Mark Goodsell||Australian Industry Group|
|Nerida Kelton||Australian Institute of Packaging|
|Andrew Petersen||Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia|
|Cathy Phelps||Agriculture industry|
The panel will also draw on input from other sectoral representatives and industry specialists to inform their thinking.
In 2017, environmental sustainability was identified by the AISC as one of eight cross-sector projects to address common skills needs, minimise duplication of units, consolidate existing units and remove units that are no longer being used.
A Project Reference Group supported by Skills Impact worked collaboratively with industry stakeholders to:
- Compile research on current and future needs for environmental sustainability skills
- Consult with industry to identify and validate common skills across industry areas
- Identify training package components (units, skill sets, qualifications) that need to be developed, modified, adapted or removed
- Produce a Case for Change.
The 2017 Case for Change analysed cross-industry environmental sustainability skill areas, in the light of existing training packages, to identify gaps and areas of duplication. The analysis identified existing sector-specific competencies that could be adapted for use across industries. Analysis also identified opportunities for the development of new cross-industry units of competency, skills sets or qualifications.
For further information, please contact us.
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