MCA welcomes “New Arrangements for Training Product Development for Australian Industry”

In particular, the MCA notes the Government’s strong support for industry-centred training, as evidenced by the new Industry Reference Committees (IRCs), which are designed as the conduit for industry intelligence into training package policy and practice.

Training Packages are the standards for workplace competency in our industry.

The IRCs will be supported by Skills Service Organisations (SSOs) which will be funded by the Australian Government to provide administrative, technical and operational support to assist IRCs in their engagement with industries. SSOs will be governed by professional boards with demonstrated independence and strategic and professional skills.

A small number of SSOs will be established from October 2015, with the new model commencing operations from 1 January 2016. The SSOs will, in effect, take on a number of the functions of the current Industry Skills Councils (ISCs).

As the reform process rolls out, the MCA urges:

That Training Packages continue to focus on workplace competencies as opposed to qualifications, although these two areas of demand (a full qualification as a policy outcome and a competencies or set of skills as a company need) are not necessarily in tension
That we take care not to lose the current industry representative capability and training package expertise that resides in our current Industry Skills Council, SkillsDMC
That industry retains the power to make changes to Training Packages, especially if urgent change is needed as a result of safety or developments in industry innovation

The quality of the national training system is of keen interest to the minerals sector.  The Australian minerals industry spends more on training per employee than most industry sectors at 5.5 per cent of payroll - in excess of $1.15 billion in 2011-12

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