A significant step has been taken to improve Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector with the passing of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment (Governance and Other Matters) Bill 2020.
This Bill will position the agency responsible for regulating the VET sector – the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as an effective, modern regulator.
The Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said these changes will help ensure regulation of the sector is more transparent and effective.
“Quality regulation is integral to ensuring that the training system is equipped to deliver high-quality student outcomes and to efficiently adapt to changing skill needs, labour market fluctuations and developing technologies.” Minister Cash said.
“The passing of this Bill is another critical step in the Government's reform process to support ASQA's continued evolution as a transparent and balanced regulator that engages effectively with stakeholders and builds quality in the VET sector.”
“These reforms will benefit the providers regulated by ASQA, as well as VET students, graduates, employers and the Australian economy more broadly.”
The Bill will amend the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011. The amendments are part of the 24 recommendations of the rapid review of ASQA’s governance, culture and regulatory practices released in April this year.
These recommendations build on the Braithwaite and Joyce reviews, which both called on ASQA to adopt a greater educative role and to improve its regulatory approach.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, said a quality training system will ensure VET is valued as a legitimate and reliable career choice.
“Delivering excellence in training lies at the heart of the Morrison Government's skills agenda,” Assistant Minister Irons said.
“The Australian VET sector supports millions of students each year to obtain skills and expertise for success in future employment and further education.”
“VET training and delivery need to be of the highest standard to ensure that the VET system is trusted by students and employers, and so that it provides the greatest benefit to the wider Australian community.”
Improved governance arrangements and enhanced stakeholder engagement are key outcomes of the amendments. This includes revising ASQA’s governance structure, replacing the existing Chief Commissioner and two Commissioners with a single independent statutory office holder; establishing a National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Advisory Council (Advisory Council); and improved information sharing.
More information on the continued ASQA reform agenda can be found at: https://www.asqa.gov.au/