Politics & Policies

Skills Reform in Australia – An agreement

All jurisdictions have signed a Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform.

The Agreement sets out immediate reforms to improve the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and an approach and priorities for developing a new National Skills Agreement to replace the National Agreement on Skills and Workforce Development.

The priorities in the Agreement are aimed at ensuring the VET system is delivering for students and employers and equipping Australians with the skills they need for emerging jobs.

The Commonwealth is also partnering with the states and territories to deliver the JobTrainer Fund, which will provide more Australians with access to free, or low cost, training places in areas of identified skills need.

Immediate reforms to improve quality and relevance

  • Building on the progress the Parties made in 2019 to develop a VET Reform Roadmap, the Parties commit to the following immediate reforms that will strengthen the training system to support Australia’s immediate economic recovery:
  • Simplifying, rationalising and streamlining national VET qualifications across industry occupation clusters and the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and introducing improved industry engagement arrangements.
  • Strengthening quality standards, building Registered Training Organisations (RTO) capacity and capability for continuous improvement and developing a VET workforce quality strategy.

Approach to a future National Skills Agreement

Further to this, the Parties commit to working together collaboratively, including sharing data, to develop the new National Skills Agreement to replace the NASWD.

Priorities for the new arrangement are:

  • Adopting a new funding model that improves national consistency for students, integrates subsidies and loans and is linked with efficient pricing and the skills needed by employers.
  • Developing and funding nationally accredited micro-credentials and individual skill sets, in addition to full qualifications, and supporting lifelong learning through an integrated tertiary education system.
  • Promoting apprenticeships and other employment-based training, including pre- apprenticeships, and undertaking reforms to boost geographic mobility and labour supply.
  • Strengthening VET pathways for secondary school students and improving the quality and vocational relevance of VET in schools.
  • Working with the National Careers Institute (NCI), to reduce the proliferation of careers information available, and supporting the NCI to provide access to career information that best enables people to make decisions about their learning, training and employment pathways.
  • Enhancing transparency and accountability, through clear roles and responsibilities for governments and industry, and increasing data collection and analysis that is shared publicly to support regular assessment of governments’ policies and performance.
  • Supporting a viable and robust system of public, private and not for profit providers, with contestability in VET markets, to ensure high quality training and student choice.
  • Increasing real investment in VET, while undertaking agreed reforms needed to ensure this investment will improve outcomes for Australians and the economy.
  • Providing stronger support for foundation skills and ensuring access for all Australians with low levels of language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy.


Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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