In releasing its reform plan Future-proof: Australia’s future post-secondary education and skills system the Business Council has set out a clear blueprint for how to deliver a world class education and skills system for all Australians.
Failure of our post-secondary education and skills system will lead to greater need for skilled migration and more jobs leaving Australian shores, it will leave Australians today and future generations ill equipped for the future.
After extensive consultations the Business Council’s Future-proof paper proposes a system with five core components:
- Maintaining the unique character of each sector – Vocational education and training as an industry-led sector based around competency-based training and applied learning, and Higher Education in providing advanced qualifications, learning for the sake of learning, academic inquiry, and world-class research.
- Better market information so learners know what jobs are available, what they might earn, what courses are available and how much it will cost them.
- Putting the learner in charge by giving every Australian a capped lifelong skills account that can be used to pay for courses at approved providers.
- A culture of lifelong learning that encourages people to use qualifications to build a strong foundation, and then dip in and out of short, accredited modules to effectively create their own ‘credentials’ that allow them to upskill and retrain throughout their lives.
- A shared governance model clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each level of government and industry.
Against these forces of change, Australia needs to protect its people by ensuring we have the most skilled, the most trained, and the most resilient workforce on earth.
This means workers will need to dip in and out of training throughout their entire lives, upskilling and reskilling throughout their careers without the need to stop working.
Business employs 10 million of the 12 million working Australians; we want all of them all to realise their potential.