The Business Council of Australia welcomes the release of the federal government’s discussion paper on reform directions for vocational education and training.
BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey said the establishment of Skills Australia, together with the setting of targets for education and training attainment, would make an important contribution to better meeting the future skills requirements of business.
“It is vital that skills policies are based on the actual and emerging requirements of employers in order to ensure that, as a nation, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to remain economically competitive,” Ms Lahey said.
“We also need policies that will equip individuals with the skills to enable them to seek and obtain ongoing employment and adapt to changing workplace environments.
“Skills Australia will bring a national perspective to matching current and future skills requirements in Australia with the allocation of new training places.
“Australia faces severe skills shortages in a number of industries and at a range of skill levels. These extend across, for example, service and hospitality occupations, a number of the trades, information technology, and professional occupations such as engineering and the medical services.
“Added to this, the future Australian workforce will need to be even more highly skilled if we are to remain competitive.
“We should therefore aim to make sure all young Australians are provided with a high-quality school education, and that the vocational education and training system is responsive and adapts to meet current and emerging demands for skills.
“A greater level of flexibility is also required for the delivery of vocational education and training, including using the best available information and communications technology.
“Business would like to see the training system go further in recognising specialised qualifications in their own right which can, at a later time, be credited towards the achievement of a broader qualification.
“The BCA looks forward to contributing to the further development of these reform priorities, which will have a lasting impact on our national productivity and living standards,” she said.