On the Wednesday before the AISC meeting, Skills Impact organised a meeting between the Chairs or representatives of each of our allocated IRCs, Skills Impact and representatives of the Department of Education and Training. The aim of this meeting was to share ideas and consider how IRCs, the AISC and Skills Impact can better support the skill needs of the industries we support. We also discussed the specific role of an IRC and how they can add further value to industry.
In a positive and wide-ranging discussion, some of the key issues included:
- Australia does need national competency standards, and learners should be trained and assessed to them.
- Speed to market is an issue with the pace of change and introduction of technologies.
- Australia currently has many industries that don’t use formal training through TAFE and RTO.
- These industries still value national skill standards and qualifications and would use them more if there was an industry credentialing system in addition to the current RTO managed credentialing system.
The Department of Education and Training has been working hard on the speed to market issue, which was also covered at the AISC meeting the following day. While changes have been made to help speed up the process, such as Cases for Change being incorporated into Skills Forecasts, it is recognised there is still room for improvement. The system has been established for good consultation, which takes time, and the Department recognised the quality of the consultations undertaken by the IRC’s serviced by Skills Impact. The department advised the IRCs that the AISC has recognised that they are now at the “end of the beginning” of the new system, and that they want to hear what’s working and what isn’t.
Skills Impact Chair Julie George commented that the feedback was constructive and useful. It was pleasing to have satisfied IRCs working on improvements to support the system. The suggestions will be raised and addressed with the AISC, Department of Education and Training, IRCs and internally as needed over the next few months.