Review of Training Packages – Resources and Infrastructure Industry Response

The resources and infrastructure sectors welcome the opportunity to respond to the Department of Industry’s discussion papers Review of Training Packages and Accredited Courses and Industry Engagement in Training Package Development – Towards a Contestable Model.

The sectors agree with the papers’ assertion that ‘Australia’s VET system is recognised internationally as having considerable strengths, including its framework for nationally recognised and industry-informed qualifications’ and agree that VET must be ‘fit for purpose’ in a modern, rapidly transforming economy.  Industry skills leadership will be increasingly important in an industry that is globalising rapidly, with multi-jurisdictional operations and labour flows, with skills recognition now crossing borders.

Industry is central to the skills equation because it provides jobs.  A job is the best guarantee of effective and ongoing skills development as knowledge needs to be applied continually.

Industry training packages are at the heart of the quality equation because they specify the skills and competencies needed to operate safely and competently in the workplace.  In the case of the Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package (the Package), content is developed by industry and, as such, is truly ‘industry-led’.  Companies are able to map training requirements against the competencies outlined in the Package and tailor training according to enterprise requirements. 

In summary, the resources and infrastructure sectors:

  • Support the notion of focusing on ‘skilling outcomes’ rather than ‘the training system’
  • Reassert the distinctions between competencies and skills on the one hand and curriculum and training on the other, so that the demand side (industry) and supply side (trainers) can play their respective parts effectively.
  • Believe that the appropriate stewardship of the Package is crucial.  It must remain under the control of an entity whose mission is ‘of industry, for industry and by industry’ – that is, SkillsDMC
  • Propose that the Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package be known as the Resources and Infrastructure Industry Skills Competency Standards Package or the Resources and Infrastructure Industry Skills Recognition Package.  This would underline the subtle but important distinction between competencies and skills on the one hand and curriculum and training on the other.

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