Skills in Australia – Over 1400 qualifications and almost 17,000 units of competency on offer

The number of qualifications and competencies

The present array of over 1400 qualifications and almost 17,000 units of competency on offer has been described as bewildering by the Productivity Commission.

It is important to recognise, however, that these key features of the design and content of the train- ing system are in fact very much industry-led in the expectation that this will maximise the respon- siveness of the system to industry demands. Thus, the huge array of competencies reflects the decisions of employer and employee representatives about the various specific competencies that are needed for each job.

A second criticism, however, is that obtaining agreement to changes in qualifications or the content of competencies is too slow and makes the system insufficiently responsive to changes in industry skills needs. Only industry boards can change a training package, but they must first obtain the approval of the Australian Skills Industry Committee (ASIC) before the new development can begin. Then after the proposed changes have been developed by the relevant industry board, they must be referred back to ASIC for its approval of every change before the new package is finally endorsed by the COAG Skills Council. The obvious way to speed up the process would be to accept greater devolution, at least where the changes are minor and uncontroversial.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Skills and workforce development



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