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New VET model to be operational by 2016

Federal Assistant Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham explained that the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system reforms – which were first announced in September 2014 – were necessary to adapt to an “increasingly competitive, globalised and technologically advanced economy”.

“This important overhaul in the way training packages and products are developed is all about responding to the needs of industry, to boost economic growth, business productivity and employment outcomes,” he said.

The new model will be underpinned by an open competitive grants process that will select a number of skills service organisations (SSOs). Selected organisations will be those deemed to be best placed to assist their industries with engagement and the development of training products.

The SSOs will be funded by the Federal Government to provide administrative, technical and operational support to the industry reference committees (IRCs) that will be taking over from the current industry skills councils in leading training package development. They will also assist the IRCs with industry engagement and in the roll-out of training products.

The IRCs will be formed on an “as needs” basis and will be overseen by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), a national industry body comprising members nominated by the federal and state governments and industry peak bodies. In addition to advising on how the quality and relevance of training can be improved, the AISC will offer industry insight to guide VET research and will be responsible for formally endorsing qualifications.

“These new arrangements retain industry at the centre of training package development and the determination of the skills needed for the increasingly competitive and technologically advanced economy,” Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said.

“A further advantage of the new model will be the efficiencies achieved by reducing administration and duplication as well as prioritising training package work according to industry needs. In the current climate it remains a high priority to achieve available efficiencies.”

The model is expected to be fully operational by January 2016, but to ensure a smooth transition, the Federal Government will soon be inviting proposals from organisations seeking to operate as SSOs, with a small number of these groups to be established from October this year.

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