Submission on the Establishment of the Industry Skills Fund

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

At a time when cost control and productivity are crucial not only to the mining industry but to the broader Australian economy, it is essential that vocational education and training efforts are maximised to ensure productivity is maximised and innovation facilitated.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) welcomes the strong focus of the Industry Skills Fund (ISF) on innovation, competitiveness and productivity.

The minerals sector is a major contributor in the education and training space, from direct funding of minerals disciplines, to massive spending on employee upskilling to innovative programs targeted at overcoming skills shortages, improving training quality and increasing workforce diversity.

The ISF presents an opportunity for the minerals industry to further enhance the skills and productivity effort.

The minerals industry has traditionally been supportive of co-funded models, such as the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF), spending more than the required dollar-for- dollar contribution.

We urge the Government to learn both the positive and negative lessons of the NWDF, for example ensuring that funding allocations are aligned with business rather than bureaucratic needs and unencumbered by arbitrary and unnecessary red tape.

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