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SkillsDMC has been appointed as the interim IRC support organisation for the quarrying industry.
SkillsDMC has been appointed as the interim IRC support organisation for the quarrying industry.

Selection process continues for quarry training body

The Federal Government has selected several organisations to operate under its new VET model but the quarry industry is yet to find out who will spearhead its formal education.

Last month, Federal Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Luke Hartsuyker revealed the first five organisations appointed under the new VET model, which was announced in April 2015.

As previously reported by Quarry, the new model involves an open competitive grants process to select the organisations best placed to assist their industries with engagement and the development of training products.

These organisations – known as skills service organisations (SSOs) – will work with and support industry reference committees (IRCs). The IRCs will be formed on an “as needs” basis to lead training package development, replacing the industry skills councils (ISCs) that formerly operated in this role.

“IRCs are responsible for the development of training packages that reflect the needs and priorities of employers,” Hartsuyker explained. “These training packages are an essential part of our national training system as they set out the skills and competencies required for different jobs across a range of industries. Training providers then use these training packages to design their training programmes and curricula.

“The new SSOs have been selected on the basis of their capacity to support IRCs to achieve this goal. The SSOs will work under the direction of an IRC to help them to consult with employers, analyse key trends and emerging issues, identify the skills sought by employers and develop the technical content of training packages.”

Extended selection process

The SSO application process took place from 19 July to 24 August, 2015, with SkillsIQ, Artibus Innovation, Skills Impact, PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia and Australian Industry Standards emerging as the successful organisations.

It was noted, however, that the Federal Government was still in the process of appointing one or more SSOs for a number of industries, including the quarrying and mining sectors.

When asked why further work was being undertaken for these particular industries, a spokesperson from the Federal Department of Education and Training told Quarry, “The manufacturing, automotive, mining and drilling sectors are central to the Australian economy. Given the level of structural change these sectors are currently undergoing, the department is seeking further assurance from applicants of their capability to operate as SSOs for these sectors.”

In the interim, the Federal Government has appointed SkillsDMC to support the IRCs for the quarrying, civil construction, drilling, and coal and metalliferous mining sectors. SkillsDMC was the former ISC for these industries and played a major role in developing the quarry industry’s current, endorsed RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package.

“Under a recent agreement for the 2016 calendar year between SkillsDMC and the Commonwealth we will perform a role consistent with that of the SSOs which have already been appointed,” a SkillsDMC spokesperson explained. “This will involve providing support and enabling services to the five IRCs responsible for the RII training package, including the extractive industries (quarrying) IRC.

“… SkillsDMC will continue to pursue industry’s wishes for it to become the SSO for the resources and infrastructure sectors.”

Regardless of the outcome of the additional SSO expressions of interest (EOI) process, the spokesperson stated, “SkillsDMC plans to continue to serve the industry’s needs to skill its workforce by reflecting its workforce needs through the development of high quality, industry-validated competency standards.”

The Federal Department of Education and Training spokesperson said the continuation of the EOI process for the mining, drilling, manufacturing and automative industries would commence in early 2016, with completion expected by the middle of the year.

More reading
New VET model to be operational by 2016
VET reforms signal end of industry skills councils

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