Australia’s Skills Reform
Biggest Change to the Training Sector since 2011
The training industry is currently going through its biggest change yet, under the Australian VET Reform. The Reform is focussed on improving the quality of education offered by Registered Training Organisations around Australia.
The Quality Reforms are focussed on building a strong and well-supported training system which will enable RTOs to strive for excellence and enhance the quality of training.
The Skills Ministers have committed to raising the quality of training delivered within the VET sector through:
- revising the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (the Standards)
- improving the capability and capacity of RTOs for continuous improvement
- developing a VET Workforce Quality Strategy.
In 2020 and 2021, the government undertook a range of focus groups and feedback from RTOs, industry and students on the current standards, Trainers and Assessors and the capacity for RTOs to provide quality education. The focus of the data collected is to improve the quality of training across Australia.
Trainers and Assessors will be a core focus within the new standards, as they are the frontline of training delivery, providing a vital role for passing on industry relevant knowledge to learners.
On 7 October 2022, the federal government announced that the draft standards will be released for feedback from mid-October, which will provide RTO stakeholders with an opportunity to provide feedback.
VET Reform Focus Group
Vivacity will be holding a focus group with its members and any RTO professionals who would like to contribute as a collective. During the Focus Group, our team will be covering what will be the impact on RTOs for each of the proposed new standards, as well as gathering feedback from the group to respond to the government as a collective.
VET Workforce Quality Strategy
Between December 2020 and May 2021 the Australian government undertook consultation on VET workforce quality with RTOs and other VET stakeholders, which have been used to inform the development of a draft VET Workforce strategy.
The VET Workforce Quality Strategy outlines the proposed changes to the Standards for RTOs and VET Trainers and Assessors vocational competencies within the industry area that they deliver training and assessment.
Key themes raised during the consultation included:
- Capability frameworks and professional standards
- Industry currency
- Professional development support for trainers
- Supporting learner cohorts
The Strategy aims to assist RTOs and trainers and assessors to deliver high quality training and assessment, through the provision of tools, resources and guidance material to assist RTOs to support their workforce and help trainers and assessors in their role.
Although there will be a lot of changes for RTOs, Trainers and Assessors to implement, the change will have a significant impact on the quality of training and assessment around Australia, improving our services and the outcomes of our students, which will in turn improve Australia’s workforce.
In October 2020, Skills Ministers agreed to trial new evidence led approaches to designing qualifications, with trials to be run by three Skills Organisation Pilots in Minding, Digital and Human Services. The trails tested design elements and were validated through consultations in early 2021.
The Qualifications reform will be focussed on simplifying and improving the Australian Qualifications Framework. The proposed changes are to move away from Certificate levels qualifications to qualifications based on appropriately grouped occupation and skills clusters to deliver broader vocational outcomes for students.
At the time of publication, there was no proposed launch of the new Australian Qualifications Framework.
The underpinning skills for workforce participation, productivity and social inclusion are crucial when it comes to addressing foundation skills. They include language, literacy and Numeracy skills, with a stronger focus on digital literacy to meet industry needs. These skills play a critical role in helping Australian adults to participate confidently in the community, the workplace, and in education and training.
In August 2020, all Australian governments agreed through the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform to improving the VET sector. One of the priorities is stronger support for foundation skills and ensuring access for all Australians with low levels of LLND.
Jurisdictions have worked together to develop the draft National Foundation Skills Framework (the Framework). It outlines collective action by governments working with stakeholders to improve the foundation skills of Australian adults. The Framework replaces the 2012 National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults and operates from 2022 to 2032.