Release type: Media Release


Fast tracking the upskilling of Australian workers on Covid-19 safety


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

The Australian Government welcomes the fast-tracking of a new national infection control skill set endorsed by all Council of Australian Government (COAG) Skills Council Ministers.

The infection control skill set will be delivered as a short course to quickly qualify Australians to effectively stop the spread of germs and disease in the workplace.

The short course will be able to be completed as a stand-alone competency or as part of a broader qualification.

The short course is the first of its kind as a national training product developed by the new Australian Industry Skills Emergency Response Sub-Committee in response to COVID-19.

The Emergency Response Sub-Committee was set up by COAG Skills Ministers to enable fast-tracked adjustments to qualifications and training package requirements and ensure that Australia's Vocational Education and Training sector can quickly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Response Sub-Committee is led by Emeritus Professor Tracey Horton AO, Chair to the Australian Industry Skills Council. It is comprised of industry experts and is meeting regularly to drive rapid and flexible development of training products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the Commonwealth, States and Territories collaborated with industry to create the new skill set.

“In light of the acute need to keep Australians safe at work during the Coronavirus pandemic we’ve taken urgent action to ensure workplaces are kept open,” Minister Cash said

“This skill set will not only support infection control training over the longer-term but will help prepare Australians for any future pandemics.”

Minister Cash congratulated her State and Territory counterparts for working productively and cooperatively in developing this skill set faster than any other national competency.

This critical work will ensure workplaces are kept open, or can re-open with increased confidence as we enter the recovery phase.

The skill set covers a range of sectors and is designed to empower workers by teaching them the skills and knowledge they need to decrease risk and transmission of infection while carrying out their daily duties.

A series of resources to support Registered Training Organisations to deliver the skill set have been developed and will be available online shortly.

The first tranche of resources are targeted at the transport and logistics, retail and food-handling sectors, with material for other industries to be developed over time.

“The Australian Government wants employees to stay as connected to industry and work as possible to ensure that disruption to their lives and livelihoods is minimised and that they are ready to respond to changing circumstances as the pandemic passes,” Minister Cash said.

“I encourage all industry stakeholders, and training providers to raise their concerns with the relevant Industry Reference Committee or via the online forms. This information is critical to supporting the delivery of VET training during this challenging time.”

This information is critical to supporting the delivery of VET training during this challenging time. Feedback can be provided to the relevant Industry Reference Committee, or via the online forms at the ASQA or AISC websites.