Release type: Media Release


Short courses, training product reform in the spotlight

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews is encouraging vocational education and training (VET) stakeholders to have their say on proposed reforms to ensure students receive high quality training that is responsive to the changing needs of industry.

Public consultation opens tomorrow on two important aspects of the VET system – training products, and unduly short courses – with stakeholders encouraged to consider and respond to discussion papers on these issues.

Minister Andrews said while the current training system had significant strengths, the Turnbull Government was committed to ensuring it was ready and able to respond to future challenges.

“We know the future of work is rapidly changing, and training products need to be able to adapt to a range of factors that will affect workforce trends including technological change, emerging growth industries, and the changing nature of work,” Minister Andrews said.

“The current system is weighted towards students gaining technical skills for a specific job. Expanding the focus to include broader skills, such as problem solving, language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy, will enable learners to gain more transferable skills that will allow them to access a broader range of employment opportunities.

“We’re asking VET stakeholders for their input on how we can ensure training products address future needs, including how qualifications are best designed, as well as the role of accredited courses and skill sets.”

Minister Andrews said it was also an important opportunity for stakeholders to have their say on the recommendations in the Australian Skills Quality Authority’s (ASQA) strategic review on unduly short courses, which proposed reform to the operation of the VET system.

“ASQA has raised concerns that unduly short courses are preventing learners from gaining the skills and competencies required through VET courses to be assessed as competent,” Minister Andrews said.

“We are particularly keen to hear from stakeholders how ASQA’s recommendations may benefit industry, training providers and students.

“The guiding principle for all our reforms is that it is industry-led and learner-centred and leads to a system that is easy to navigate, adaptable and of the highest quality.

“Feedback from stakeholders is critical to ensuring we achieve these aims.”

The consultation period will be open from 14 December 2017 to 9 March 2018.

To make a submission, the following website will be active from midday Thursday, December 14: