Business welcomes a step towards skills reform

We welcome the government’s announcement that it will undertake an independent review of Australia’s vocational education and skills system and act to boost the number of apprentices, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“We applaud the government’s recognition that the skills system will be vital to Australia’s future economic growth. Reforming our post-secondary education and skills system isn’t just a moral imperative it’s an economic one.

“An independent review into vocational education and skills is a good first step, focussing on the need for life-long learning and building general literacy and numeracy skills to give Australians the best chance in a volatile and changing Australian economy.

“The world is changing rapidly and that means to compete, Australian workers must be the best trained and most resilient on earth.

“The Business Council and its members have long warned that failure of our post-secondary education and skills system will lead to a greater need for skilled migration and more jobs leaving Australian shores. Action to reform the system is urgent to protect Australian workers.

“It is vital that industry is part of this and changes must work for major employers.

“Reform of the skills system must also be accompanied by reform across the higher education system.

“The Business Council’s recent Future-proof education blueprint outlined a number of areas for reform across the entire post-secondary education and skills system, we look forward to working with the government to achieve the change Australians deserve.”