Today’s commencement of a national VET regulator - the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) - delivers a key reform to Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector.
Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Senator Chris Evans welcomed this landmark reform achievement which builds on the Gillard Government’s record investment of $10.6 billion in the VET sector.
“The implementation of a national regulator in the VET sector is a key step in improving the quality and consistency of VET regulation around the nation,” Senator Evans said.
The Gillard Government is committed to ensuring all Australians have access to a world class education system so they have the skills to get the high paying jobs of tomorrow.
“Employers and students alike will have greater confidence in the value of VET training and qualifications, regardless of which state or territory the training was delivered,” Senator Evans said.
“The new regulator will use a risk-based approach, allowing it to focus closely on poor performers while reducing the regulatory burden for strong, proven providers.
“It will help restore the international reputation of Australia’s training system, following previous concerns with colleges servicing the overseas market.”
The new system of national regulation has been developed based on extensive consultation with states and the sector, and there has been considerable support for the introduction of the VET regulator from stakeholders across the board. These include training providers, employers, industry skills councils and unions.
From today, ASQA will begin regulating training providers in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. It will also have responsibility for providers in Victoria and Western Australia that offer services to international students or operate in multiple states.
Regulation of Queensland, South Australian and Tasmanian providers will follow later in the year once legislation is passed by respective State Parliaments. The Australian Government will continue to work constructively to bring Victoria and Western Australia within the national system.
ASQA will be led by Interim Chief Commissioner Christopher Robinson.
Mr Robinson has a distinguished background in Vocational Education and Training issues as well as significant experience in leadership roles in the sector. He has held a number of senior government positions in education and related fields including serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Education and Children’s Services, South Australia, and as Deputy Director-General of the Department of Employment and Training, Queensland.
For further information visit www.asqa.gov.au.