Posts Tagged ‘Skills Australia’
National Workforce Development Fund - On Wednesday 10 August 2011, the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF) opened with $558 million for 2011-12 to 2014-15 and the due date for applications is 12 noon 30 September 2011*…
Putting skills at the heart of the economy - Anticipated by leaders in skills and workforce development and coming at a crucial time, the Putting skills at the heart of the economy 2011 conference held on 21 July 2011 at The Crown Conference Centre, Melbourne, was very well attended with a great line up of speakers…
2011 NCVER No Frills Conference - I haven’t missed many NCVER conferences over the years and I’m glad that I attended the 20th No Frills Conference in Coffs Harbour this week as it gave me an opportunity to take some time out to think of new initiatives and identify ideas to explore with others…
Skills for Prosperity and the 2011 Federal Budget – On the 3rd May 2011, Skills Australia launched their most significant paper to date on workforce development titled Skills for Prosperity A roadmap for Vocational Education and Training…
Evidence based approach to workforce and client demand - Increasingly you are being asked to provide evidence of demand for jobs and skills that are linked to your contracts, funding and proposals as well as your programs and services, and that reach specific outcomes and targets…
Skills for All and Opportunities for You - Skills for All, the Strategic Direction for Vocational Education and Training in South Australia 2011-2014 has been published and was great weekend reading with the pink highlighter pen out…
Skillsbook website providers a home for credentials – use Skillsbook to build skills profiles for RPL, profile job roles, undertake Training Needs Analysis and build competency frameworks. Download Skillsbook for iphone too.
RDNS Education Centre for being shortlisted for small training provider of the year at the South Australian Training Awards – see you on the night, 2nd September 2011 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
National Crime Check – new website launched where you can submit your police check online.
Australian VET Leaders – potential, emerging and current Join the 400 strong members of this LinkedIn community discussing VET issues and opportunities. Are you an Australian VET Leader?
Training Needs Analysis Workshops Recently Service Skills Australia presented a professional development opportunity ideal for practitioners facilitating internal Training Needs Analysis (TNA), working with teams, enterprises and organisations, up to major projects such as large sporting complexes, around Australia. Workforce BluePrint was contracted to facilitate the workshops and Wendy Perry and we received feedback like,
Thank you for the material from the recent workshop on TNA. It is most help full and appreciated. Can I say that I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and as it gave me a better insight into the value of TNA and its execution.
SMART Business Association The SMART Business Association website is being designed and it will be the site to be on if you run a business in Southern Adelaide or do business in the South – all with searchable categories and extras to help you to grow your business and local market. Get a listing as part of your membership for only $50, email Garry Triffett for your membership form.
Latest Presentations and Workshops Workshops, conferences, professional development activities on leading edge topics. Bookings are currently being taken into 2012 – get in quickly with your preferred dates!
Hobby blogging as featured in SA Defence Business Magazine
Think Food – Think Consistency, Quality and Trust as featured for in business magazine
What have we been up to?
- Development of workforce plans and competency frameworks for various clients across Australia in the Agriculture, Banking and Finance, Building and Construction, Civil Construction, Community Services, Contact Centre, Defence, Disability, Education, Employment Services, Energy, Events, Food and Wine, Government, Health, Higher Education, Manufacturing, Mining and Resources, Telecommunications, Tourism, Vocational Education and Training (VET), and Water sectors
- Consultant for the design and development of Ergon Energy’s Capability Framework, 2011
- Project management of the South Australian Contact Centre Survey for ATA and the Department of Trade and Economic Development, 2011
- Project management of the WorkLife Balance Innovations Project for SafeWork SA including facilitation of Masterclasses, 2011
- Facilitation of the Women influencing Defence and Resources Industries (WiDRI) Community of Practice, 2011
- Recognition of Prior Learning Project for Regional Development Australia, Kangaroo Island, June 2011
- Skills Australia information session, May 2011
- DFEEST SA Works Strategic Planning Workshop, May 2011
- Defence Teaming Centre networking, May 2011
- Workforce development and planning workshop for small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, Mildura, May 2011
- ACPET and WEA networking event, May 2011
- Workforce plan for South West TAFE in Victoria, May 2011
- South Australian Skills and Workforce Forum, April 2011
- Women influencing Defence and Resource Industries (WiDRI) Community of Practice launch, April 2011
- Women in Leadership, CEDA luncheon, April 2011
- Can we have it all? Regional Development Australia, Barossa Valley, April 2011
- SMART Friday Night drinks at the Vic, March 2011
- Think Food, Food SA, March 2011
- Work Life Balance Masterclass and Tools project, March 2011
- Workforce planning for service success, Jobs Australia, March 2011 and May 2011
- Cellar Door Wine Festival, February 2011
- RPL system design, February 2011
- SMART business breakfast, February 2011
- Workforce planning for local government, Queanbeyan Local Government Association NSW, February 2011
- Development a regional workforce plans and client analysis for Job Service Australia and Disability Employment Service providers, 2011
- Regional workforce plan for the Mid North and Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, January 2011
- Australia Day mini break at Port Elliot, January 2011
- Tour Down Under, Willunga stage finish, January 2011
- Business and workforce profile for Kangaroo Island, January 2011
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Anticipated by leaders in skills and workforce development and coming at a crucial time, the Putting skills at the heart of the economy 2011 conference held on 21 July 2011 at The Crown Conference Centre, Melbourne, was very well attended with a great line up of speakers.
Philip Bullock, Chair of Skills Australia, outlined two aspirations in his opening addresses – help those most at risk; and a resilient workforce. Participation focussing on people on the margins of the workforce with 2.5-3 million wanting work is seen as a major opportunity. Innovation skills are needed to address a lagging innovation culture as well as “…an overhaul of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.” Much also seems to be pinned on the upcoming commonwealth – state/territory negotiations – which will be implemented from 1st July 2012 [will this negotiation mean that Victoria and WA will pass over powers to ASQA??]. Quality across the board is a priority with the National VET Regulator setting the bar, mandatory external validation, funding that rewards quality providers, and the goal of people achieving a full qualification and then a plus – such as skills sets or another [higher] qualification. The new South Australian Skills for All reform was cited as aligning to national directions and a key interest is extra requirements to be certified as a Skills for All provider [I’ll have a go at forecasting these soon as I think the National Workforce Development Agency will be looking at similar guidelines].
Chris Richardson, Director Deloitte Access Economics, Head of Macroeconomic Policy and Forecasting Group talking on It’s all about the economy says“…the world is begging Australia to grow faster…demand is strong…supply is weak… and there is a gap between slow vs. strong sectors.” With the boom in “twins” mining and construction and significant exports with demand for coal and minerals, “…the world has given us a pay rise.” When looking at sectoral growth and contribution to GDP, Chris stated that the majority of the workforce is on the wrong side of the growth areas. He thinks the question is, “…not where the next job will come from, but where the next worker will come from?”… and he advocates for higher migration as a share of population to support Australia’s growth. “The working age population is about to grow recession like, but it’s not a recession!” Big statements posed as questions included, “Can we know what skills we need into the future? [yes we can do some forecasting out especially in core and leadership skills and the alternative of not doing any forecasting is not acceptable] Do policy makers get that Australia’s future lies in skills? And Australians are good at managing adversity but not prosperity.”
Linda Nicholls, AO, Corporate Advisor and Director of a number of leading Australian companies, on It’s all about the real world, began with the reality of needing a workforce with “evidence of skills in use[I really like this term – great for assessment including RPL], that fit into our organisation, and match our customer tastes.” How do you get access to a skilled workforce? – “you can make, buy, rent, hoard or poach” and you want employees who are “retrainable.”
Andrew Stevens, Managing Director of IBM Australia and New Zealand, on Improving participation and productivity, emphasised that the, “…services generate the greatest share of value add i.e. ¾ of Australian employment, 70% of economic activity.” He outlined a new wave of high value services jobs and a number of IBM programs that are focussed on the potential employee pipeline.
The Q and A panel before lunch was our chance to ask the questions and hear responses from a panel of experts… Skills for prosperity – are they in shortage or just underutilised? and facilitated by MC for the day Michael Pascoe, Finance and Economic Commentator. Panel members included Chris Richardson, Linda Nicholls AO, Mick Mahon CEO of Skilled Group, Prof Barbara Pocock Director Centre for Work + Life University of SA, Mary Thompson Managing Director and Owner McLeod Rail and Ged Kearney President Australian Council of Trade Unions.
Mick talked from the practical perspective with an example of his clients putting years into planning and sourcing the supply of truck tyres vs. limited effort into workforce planning. Discussion moved to the management of job roles, the job itself and conditions, and the design, regarding the structure of the job, was seen as important although the direct supervisor/manager is the number 1 reason why people leave organisations. Skills development was seen as a retention strategy not so much as a workforce attraction strategy. “Prosperity is the size of the pie and fairness is how it’s chopped up.” Prof Pocock asked, “Should we all work from very young to very late over the lifecycle?”
For the breakout session, The global dimension of skills and implications for Australia, shared international perspectives from Annie Koh, Associate Professor of Finance Dean, Office of Executive and Professional Education Financial Training Institute, Academic Director, International Trading Institute at Singapore Management University and Julian Gravatt, Assistant Chief Executive Association of Colleges UK. Singapore has 1.9% unemployment and the economy is split 75% services and 25% manufacturing. An interesting example of how Singapore managed the numbers of retrenched professionals from the Global Financial Crisis was to pair people with small – medium sized enterprises as mentors and advisors. Julian talked about the differences between Australia and the UK and the high (81%) success rate and incredibly low numbers of apprentices interested me [something to follow up on].
A debate and discussion on skilled migration moderated by Tim Colebatch the Economics Editor at The Age Newspaper saw Dr Bob Birrell, Co-Director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University teamed with Prof Sue Richardson AM, Principal Research Fellow, National Institute of Labour Studies Flinders University for the negative and Bernard Salt, Business Advisor, Author and Columnist partnered with Cr Nicole Lockwood, President, Shire of Roebourne, WA, for the positive i.e. we should increase skilled migration. The negative team argued that we should focus on those people who could be in the workforce and aren’t as well as opportunities for young Australians, with the positive team showing striking graphs where the gap between the workforce size we need to maintain our economy was overlaid with a massive drop in as the first baby boomers turn 65 this year by Bernard and practical examples of workforce supply and skills demand in places like Karratha. The positive team won although important points were made on both sides – a bit of both sides of the argument is what I would conclude.
I saw the final wrap up by Philip Bullock as a call to action and I finished the conference day with a firm belief that we have reached a tipping point for workforce development and planning in Australia – hopefully the minds of policy makers, definitely in the minds of economists and industry leaders, and increasingly in the minds of people working with the VET sector. Excellent networking where I knew about 1 in 3 or 4 people, with many people who attended the NCVER Conference, a catch up with Dominic at CITT and Secretary for the Australian Digital Television Industry Association at the conference drinks and dinner with a lovely bunch of people including Stephanie Tchan from Central Institute of Technology, Linda and Pierre from TAFENSW, and Kylie Furnell from RESA, topped off a conference that I thoroughly enjoyed – and now onto tipping the workforce development and planning ‘tipping point’ even further!
On the 3rd May 2011, Skills Australia launched their most significant paper to date on workforce development titled Skills for Prosperity A roadmap for Vocational Education and Training.
This paper puts forward 9 themes for the evolution of the VET sector as I have summarised below plus I’ve added in some comments (my opinion in italics):
- Putting learners and enterprises at the forefront of service – whilst a focus on clients isn’t new, what is different here is that the individual would hold the funding entitlement and a 100% subsidy would apply for qualifications up to Certificate III including all foundation skills courses. As the qualification level increases the subsidy would reduce and become a co-funding arrangement with the individual.
- Enabling skills use and productivity in enterprises – with the introduction of an Enterprise Skills Investment Fund (managed by Skills Australia) where funding from Productivity Places Program, Critical Skills Investment Fund, Workplace English Language and Literacy, Workforce Innovation Program, Apprenticeship incentives and possibly Enterprise Connect to be tipped in to this 1 fund and enterprises will make a scaled contribution for workforce development. The role of (redesigned) Australian Apprenticeship Centres is suggested as a single point for enterprise-linked program [what are the implications for capability and capacity, would contracts need to be readvertised or will existing services morph into workforce development advisors?]
- Supporting communities – better targeted and coordinated effort – joint program planning with Vocational Education and Training, employment service and community providers and a much higher profile for Regional Development Australia in regional workforce development – RDA should be in your partnership map!
- Aspiring to excellence – resourcing the new national VET regulator (ASQA); reform of the AQTF to mandate independent validation of an annual sample of students assessments; reduction in the number of VET practitioners working under supervision (nil under supervision by 2013); high-quality deliver of the Training and Education Training Package including a demonstrated track record, evidence of expertise, professional development of staff, external validation by an expert panel, TAE trainers/assessors holding high level quals, supervised training sessions and independent assessments for those undertaking the qualification ; a national VET workforce development strategy ($40 million over 6 years); and introduction of nationally agreed criteria (over and above the AQTF it seems – interested to know what they will be!) for RTO’s to be eligible as providers of publicly funded entitlement places.
- Delivering outcomes and understanding the sector’s contribution – outcomes based funding to improve the completion of qualifications (but underlying this is the assumption that clients of the VET system want whole qualifications and I wonder how RTOs will be able to manage cash flow?); incentives for RTOs for completion of qualifications (Quality Skills Incentive) above Certificate III by low SES and disadvantaged students; AQTF indicators on learner engagement, employer satisfaction and competency completion (already in place) and full course completions (new) plus a heap more info (see Section 6, recommendation 16 in the full paper); publication on the My Skills website of RTOs assessment validation results; and new indicators for industry, education and community partnerships .
- Providing agile and adaptive products and services – optimising the use of digital media, ICT and the national broadband network; a national bank of foundation skills units and qualifications managed by Innovation & Business Skills Australia; and publicly funding skill sets (finally!!! but this shouldn’t be in the format of a ‘mini qualification’ rather skill sets based upon enterprise, licencing and job role needs)
- Ensuring better pathways across education sectors – specialist degrees with a vocational focus; income-contingent loans for those undertaking Certificate IV+ courses; a national review of VET in schools (well overdue and I’d like to see VET in school provide a taster across a range of options rather than completely locking into 1 position).
- Securing prosperity through sustained and balanced investment – additional $310 million per annum accumulating, from $8,286 million in 2008 and rising to an estimated $12,000 million in 2020; co-contribution financing framework to share the costs of training with government; performance incentives for disadvantaged students ; changes to indexation mechanisms to better reflect real costs (sounds like they could use the VET Business Analysis tool we developed to cover all the inputs and outputs and the return).
- Creating a simpler system – working out Commonwealth, state and territory responsibilities; streamlining the apprenticeship/traineeship system; consistent nominal hours required for qualifications (for me nominal hours flies in the face of competency based training and whilst I understand the desire for national consistency I don’t see how hours will do it – we should be able to come up with a more sophisticated way of paying for training [workforce development] aside from nominal hours).
I’d suggest that providers and agencies ramp up their relationships with each other to get ready for further reform – this includes Vocational Education and Training with Employment Service (Job Services Australia and Disability Employment Service) with Adult and Community Education (ACE) and community service providers with Australian Apprenticeship Centres – and all with Regional Development Australia, Industry Skill Councils, industry and professional associations – all taking a proactive approach to educating their clients about the opportunities.
The 2011 Federal budget, released 1 week after the Skills Australia paper, leaves little evidence that they aren’t the most important agency in workforce development [now becoming synonymous with the term VET but covers a heap more than training and assessment] and demonstrates that our political leaders are listening to what Skills Australia has recommended. Parts of the budget papers and facts sheets are reflections of whole components of the Skills Australia paper with small tweaks or slight word and title changes. For example (extract from A new partnership with industry):
The Building Australia’s Future Workforce package provides a $3.02 billion investment over six years for a new approach to deliver the skilled workers the economy needs and ensure more Australians have the opportunity to share in the nation’s prosperity. This is on top of new funding of more than $2 billion over the next four years for Australia’s university sector.
The package has four components:
- Putting industry at the heart of the training system
- Skills to support increased participation
- Modernising apprenticeships
- Reforming the national training system
A National Workforce and Productivity Agency will be established from 1 July 2012 to administer a new industry driven National Workforce Development Fund. The independent Agency will be an expansion of the role and functions of Skills Australia, through high level industry and union leadership and collaboration. It will be recognised as an authority on workforce development policy and advice and will direct skills funding to industry needs.
The Agency will engage directly with industry on workforce development issues and address sectoral and regional industry needs as well as
- administer the new National Workforce Development Fund
- conduct skills and workforce research, including into the quality of jobs and future working life in Australia
- drive engagement between industry, training providers and government on workforce development, apprenticeships and VET reform
- develop and monitor sectoral skills and workforce development plans in conjunction with Industry Skills Councils and industry
- provide independent advice on sectoral and regional skills needs to support workforce planning and productivity, including in small business
- promote workforce productivity by leading initiatives for the improvement of productivity, management innovation and skills utilisation within Australian workplaces
Skills Australia will be transitioned into the new Agency through 2011-12, with the Agency beginning operation from 1 July 2012.
Through the National Workforce Development Fund (the Fund) the Government will provide $558 million over four years to support training and workforce development in areas of current and future skills need. Government funding will be supplemented by a co-contribution from industry with government contributing at higher levels for small businesses.
Under the Fund, enterprises will identify their current and future business and workforce development needs. The enterprise would then apply for funding to support the training of existing workers and new workers in the area of need. Both the Government and the employer will provide funding to support this training. Large enterprises will contribute 66 per cent of the cost of training, medium enterprises 50 per cent and small enterprises 33 per cent.
Industry Skills Councils will play a key role in assisting enterprises to identify their training needs, facilitate the selection of a training provider to meet these needs and in monitoring the implementation of successful proposals.
Under the Fund businesses, national professional associations and industry bodies will be eligible to apply for funding. This will ensure that training is driven by the workforce development and business needs of enterprises. Employers will be able to purchase the training they need in the format that suits their business to deliver valuable qualifications to their employees.
Enterprises will be eligible to apply for funding if they operate in a high priority sector or if the occupations in which they are seeking to train their workforce are in local or national demand. The priority sectors to be targeted in 2011-12 will be construction and aged care in addition to the sectors currently targeted under the CSIF.
The Fund will incorporate funding from the Critical Skills Investment Fund (CSIF).
Employers and workers will also benefit from a new partnership with peak employer and union organisations through the Productivity Education and Training Fund. These key bodies will be supported to ensure that the productivity benefits that can be achieved through the Fair Work framework are well understood. The Fund will support union enterprise representatives and employers to use the enterprise bargaining process to introduce productivity improvements in the workplace.
A series of fact sheets covers:
- A new partnership with industry
- Apprenticeship reform
- Better futures for jobless families
- Future arrangements for DES purchasing
- Future arrangements for Job Service Australia
- Greater participation in Higher Education
- Helping indigenous Australians
- Investing in our young people
- Investing in regional productivity and participation
- Opportunities for people with disability
- Place-based initiatives
- Reform of the National Training System
- Skills to promote increased participation
- Strengthening job seeker compliance
- Support small business to drive economic growth
- Very long term unemployed people
We’ve already seen the new tender for Local Employment Coordinators [and Jobs Expos]
A total of $45.2 million will be allocated to the extension of this measure. This will include access to a flexible funding pool of $20 million over two years. The measure will take effect from 1 July 2011 and run until 30 June 2013.
My advice, get your organisation and your own workforce ready now, review your strategic directions, consider how the changes will impact on you, develop or update your workforce plan and I have 3 final words to say to you [Kimmy - Kath n Kim reference - sorry] – “communication, partnerships and relationships”!
For upcoming national tenders keep an eye on www.tenders.gov.au, for further reform DEEWR website and Skills Australia website, and let me know if you are planning on attending the Putting skills at the heart of the economy conference in July 2011 in Melbourne.