Australia to overhaul its vocational education and training system | New
CANBERRA (AAP/Pacnews) – Australia’s vocational education and training system will be overhauled to become easier to navigate and more efficient, the federal government has announced.
Significant duplication of courses in the higher education sector has meant students have to study the same thing multiple times, said Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor.
There are currently 5,000 vocational education and training or VET units which overlap by more than 70% with at least one other unit.
“Due to poorly recognized transferable skills, students may need to complete additional duplicate training that provides similar skills to those they already have in order to transition to a new job,” O’Connor said in a statement. .
“Any reform in this important area will take into account industry standards and their specific needs.”
Working with states, territories and unions, the Australian government will make the qualifications system easier to understand through reforms that will equip Australians with transferable and relevant skills.
Students, employers and training organizations will benefit from the changes aimed at simplifying the system, the minister said.
“We need to reform the VET sector, we need to put[l’enseignement technique et complémentaire ou[TAFE]at the center (and) we need to deliver courses, apprenticeships and internships that actually fill skill shortages,” O’Connor told ABC’s Sunday Insider Program. O’ConnortoldABC’sInsidersprogramonSunday[TechnicalandFurtherEducationor[TAFEbackatthecenter(and)weneedtodelivercoursesapprenticeshipsandtraineeshipsthatareactuallyfillingskillshortages”O’ConnortoldABC’sInsidersprogramonSunday
The announcement came after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese pledged to accelerate 180,000 free TAFE places by 2023.
Albanese told participants at the Jobs and Skills Summit last week that the A$1.1 billion ($748 million) package would be jointly funded by federal, state and territory governments.
While the funding is for the next fiscal year, O’Connor said federal, state and territorial governments are negotiating a five-year deal.
The Commonwealth could potentially provide $3.7 billion ($2.5 billion) over a period beginning in 2024, O’Connor said.
“That’s certainly the amount we hope to be able to provide…but it depends on an agreement with the states and territories,” he said.
The Commonwealth is a political association of 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former territories of the British Empire.
The deal should ensure reforms to VET systems to make them fit for students, workers and the labor market, O’Connor added.
Announcements made at a recent summit will make a significant difference to Australia’s regional workforce, said Agriculture Minister Murray Watt.
In addition to workers already in Australia, current estimates show that around 40,000 Pacific island workers are vetted and ready to migrate for work, he told Sky News.
“We also want to make sure that we encourage locals to take up farming as a career and provide them with the skills to do so,” he said.
Following the summit, the government announced that Australians on superannuation and veterans pensions will be able to earn up to 4,000 Australian dollars (2,721 US dollars) in extra income a year without losing their benefits.
Independent MP Zali Steggall said she welcomed the move, but said it was a “small step” in addressing Australia’s labor shortages.
“Older people have great skills to bring to the job market, great maturity and great experience,” she told Sky News.
“(But) I don’t think they will address the bigger picture where companies are desperate for more staff, skilled labor and skilled workers in certain areas.”
Opposition spokeswoman Michaelia Cash said the announcement was a “half-baked attempt” at a proposal made previously under the former Liberal-National government by the current Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton.
“What do we get from Albanese after the summit? A very strange half-baked attempt to go halfway to achieving what Dutton had put on the table,’ she told Sky News