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From Skills Gap to Skills Gain: New Jobs and Skills Councils’ Role in VET Sector Overhaul to Resolve the Skills Shortage

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New Jobs and Skills Council VET Overhaul

The Australian Government’s $402 million investment in establishing the new Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs) over the next four years reflects its profound commitment to tripartite leadership in addressing the country’s skills and labour shortages and better aligning the vocational education and training (VET) sector with the workforce’s needs.

In its March 2022 published report entitled, “Overcoming Australia’s Labour Shortages Through Skills Development, Workforce Participation, and Migration,” the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) underscored the aging workforce, border closures, and skill gaps as crucial factors of labour shortages. The report provided an overview of the current labour market situation and policy recommendations to address the labour shortages, including promoting skilled migration, increasing the labour force participation rate, investing in skills training and development, and addressing regulatory barriers.

The ACCI report also cited the need for a collaborative effort from the Government, businesses, and education providers to address the labour shortages and ensure Australia’s future workforce’s sustainability.

Meanwhile, the Jobs and Skills Councils Stage One Outcomes report, published by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) on 14 December 2022, outlined the outcomes of a consultation process conducted in Australia. The report highlighted the need for a more streamlined and simplified VET system, improved industry engagement, and greater collaboration between the federal and state governments. The consultation process involved input from a wide range of stakeholders, including industry representatives, training providers, and government agencies. The report also underscored the importance of providing better support for learners, including more flexible and accessible training options and greater recognition of prior learning.

A VET overhaul to address the skills shortage was indeed timely. Thus, experts and industry players widely welcomed the formation of the new Jobs and Skills Councils, as they believe it will be instrumental in developing a more responsive and effective training system that meets the needs of both employers and employees.

Future-Proofing the VET Industry by Creating the Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs)

The Australian Government identified the need for a VET overhaul as the skills shortage continues.

Industry is eyeing the new Jobs and Skills Councils, formerly known as Industry Clusters, to provide strategic leadership in addressing skills and workforce challenges, collaborating across sectors, and driving high-quality outcomes for learners and businesses.

The DEWR said Australia’s VET sector requires reform, with industry playing a crucial role in driving these changes. A reform, the government agency said, will help individuals re-skill, find work, and stay employed in times of economic uncertainty.

The new Jobs and Skills Councils will identify various industries’ skills and training needs and create pathways to address these gaps through close collaboration between industry experts, educators, and government representatives.

The JSCs are working with Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA), the governing agency overseeing JSCs, to align workforce planning for their sectors, identify skills and workforce needs, map career pathways, develop VET training products, and act as intelligence on industry issues.

By doing so, the Jobs and Skills Councils aim to address not only the current labour and skills shortages but also future-proof the VET sector by ensuring that it stays up-to-date with the changing demands of the economy.

As the Australian job market continues to evolve rapidly, the JSCs will play a critical role in ensuring that the country’s workforce remains skilled and competitive, both locally and globally.

The new Jobs and Skills Councils will ensure that the skills sector can better serve the needs of Australian employees, businesses, and the broader economy.

Learn more about the Industry Engagement reforms.

10 New Jobs and Skills Councils to Address Skills Shortages in Australia

After extensive planning, various organisations and committees have established ten Jobs and Skills Councils. These councils are as follows:

Industry  Institution/Alliance 
Agribusiness  Skills Insight by Skills Impact 
Arts, Personal Services Retail, Tourism and Hospitality  Workforce Equipped by Australian Retailers Association 
Energy, Gas and Renewables  New Institution by Master Electricians Australia 
Finance, Technology and Business  New Institution by Digital Skills Organisation 
Manufacturing  Manufacturing Industry Skills Alliance by Innovation and Business and Skills Australia 
Mining and Automotive  New Institution by Australian Minerals and Energy Alliance 
Transport and Logistics  Industry Skills Australia by Australian Industry Standards 
Public Safety  New Institution by Public Safety Industry Committee 
Early Educators, Health, and Human Services  HumanAbility by Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association 
Building, Construction, and Property  New Institution by association of employer and employee organisations in the building, construction, and property industries 

The new Jobs and Skills Councils’ emergence signals a shift towards a more coordinated and collaborative approach to addressing the skills gap.

With industry and education working together, equipping the workforce with the skills necessary to adapt and thrive in the changing economy is feasible. The VET overhaul addressing skills shortage ensures that individuals are well-equipped to meet future job market needs.

The road ahead will be challenging, but the potential gains are immense, and the new Jobs and Skills Councils will play a crucial role in realising this vision.

Let Your Voice Be Heard About Your Thoughts on the VET Overhaul as A Skills Shortage Solution

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations is seeking input on a proposed VET training product as part of the proposed new qualification model, and your feedback is critical in shaping its development. The VET system involves multiple stakeholders, and it’s essential that the proposed model meets everyone’s needs.

Share your thoughts and ideas by participating in the survey before 17 March 2023. Don’t miss this opportunity to influence the future of VET training in Australia.

Get up-to-date with the latest VET industry updates and trends. Check out Compliant Learning Resources’ blogs archive here.

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