Release type: Media Release

Date:

Driving national reform to boost skills and productivity

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations

The Gillard Government will work with states and territories to reform Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) network.

States and territories will be asked to meet new benchmarks for improved quality, transparency and outcomes as a condition of funding, worth $7.2 billion in total over the next five years.

The Gillard Government will renegotiate the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development with the states and territories and introduce a National Partnership to reform the VET system.

The Government will also offer an additional amount of up to $1.75 billion from 2012-13 for jurisdictions that are prepared to sign up to a more ambitious reform of the performance and quality of their respective public training systems.

The Gillard Government’s vision for the VET sector is clear:

A system that is more efficient.

  • Aligning training effort with emerging skills, innovation and technology needs of fast growing sectors of the economy;
  • Builds stronger pathways so that more students can move between vocational education and training and higher education qualifications.

A system that delivers greater equity and economic mobility.

  • Increases training efforts at the Certificate III level and above and delivers higher level qualifications;
  • Lifts participation rates and the skills base of disadvantaged learners and regions.

A system driven by quality and transparency.

  • Rewards performance including improved completion rates and increases the proportion of students who have a proper assessment and recognition of skills prior to the commencement of training;
  • Is transparent about funding and the quality of outcomes;
  • Has quality benchmarks and lifts the quality of teaching and learning and the level of student and industry satisfaction with training providers.

Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, said the VET system must be able to respond to demands for skilled workers, if higher workforce participation rates were to be achieved.

“Building a productive and high performing public training system is fundamental if Australia is to achieve a globally competitive edge and meet our economy’s growing demand for skilled labour,” said Senator Evans.

“We have also established a national regulator to lift the quality of training outcomes.

“The challenge now is to work with the states and territories through the COAG process to introduce fundamental reforms to create a modern national training system.”

Senator Evans said the Government would also consider the reform proposals outlined in the recently released Skills Australia reportSkills for prosperity: a road map for vocational education and training.