The Business Council of Australia welcomes the Government’s five-year National Skills Agreement that will see an additional $3.7 billion invested into Australia’s vocational education and training sector, Business Council chief executive Bran Black said.
“It is vital that we have a strong skills system that delivers Australians the skills and competencies they need to drive a more dynamic and productive economy, and provide people with opportunities for new and higher paying jobs.
“It is important that National Cabinet has come together to develop a strategic and cooperative skills agenda that will help address the reforms needed in our vocational education and training (VET) sector.
“Australia’s VET system must play a key role in developing the critical skills needed to meet our current and future workforce needs, build new industries and grow the economy. In doing this, it must work closely with business to ensure that training places align with the skills needed in the workforce.
“The BCA particularly welcomes the additional funding of $142 million in foundation skills. The BCA has long advocated for a Foundation Skills Guarantee that ensures Australians have fully funded access to the basic skills that enable them to succeed and undertake further learning.
“We also welcome the investment of $214 million in targeted Closing the Gap initiatives, to be designed in partnership with First Nations peoples. Our members already provide more than $25 million in education support for Indigenous communities and remain committed to lifting Indigenous education and employment rates.
“The five-year National Skills Agreement will go a significant way towards improving the VET sector, and we encourage the government to continue examining funding models with a view to developing a fully interoperable system between VET and higher education.
“We welcome the Government’s commitment and partnership with state and territory governments to strengthen Australia’s post-secondary education and training system so it is fit for purpose to facilitate lifelong learning and support Australia’s future economy."