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Apr 17, 2024

Welcome to the April edition of our newsletter

In this month’s newsletter

•    2024 Workforce Plan drafts feedback closed. What's next?
•    Project updates 
•    VET Qualification Reform
•    Jobs and Skills Council Ministerial Advisory Board appointments
•    Nominations are now open for the Australian Training Awards
•    ITECA appoints Mark McKenzie to Chair its Board

2024 Workforce Plan drafts feedback closed. What's next?

Our call for feedback on the Draft 2024 Workforce Plans has now closed and we are grateful for your responses.

What happens next?

The Strategic Workforce Planning Committees for each of our industry sectors will review and finalise the 2024 Workforce Plans informed by your insights.

Consultation with industry stakeholders was essential to ensure each Workforce Plan truly reflected the needs and priorities of our sectors.

Although the 2024 Workforce Plans are yet to be finalised and released, it’s clear that there are shared workforce issues, or Mega Trends cutting across all of our sectors: road transport, logistics, warehousing, ports, maritime, rail and aviation.

These Mega Trends will influence the skills landscape for both learners and employers necessitating adaptability and agility in our workforce, now and into the future.

Digital technology and automation are seeing job roles change, and along with the changes brought about by decarbonisation, providing our workforce with new skills will be critical to realising benefits and keeping businesses competitive and productive. Our industry’s businesses continue to grapple with workforce supply challenges due to strong competition for workers, which is exacerbated by aging workforces heading towards retirement, and low female participation rates. We can’t afford to leave any worker behind meaning reskilling and upskilling opportunities are absolutely necessary to meet these changes in the world of work, yet barriers to access quality training continue. 

Each of our 2024 Workforce Plans will dive deeper, identifying the specific workforce skills challenges each sector is facing. You will also find proposed solutions to those challenges. The annual Workforce Plans are central to all we do as a Jobs and Skills Council, informing collaborative solutions developed and implemented in partnership with industry stakeholders, unions, training providers and governments.  

We look forward to announcing the release of the 2024 Workforce Plans soon.

If you have any queries, please contact our Industry Engagement Managers: 

Project updates 


We are currently seeking feedback on draft training products that have been updated by the project’s Technical Committee following feedback from industry stakeholders.

The draft materials include the following new Skill Set and Unit of Competency:

  • Coxswains Grade 3 Skill Set
  • Command and manage a voyage on a vessel up to 45 metres (Near coastal)

The project has also updated 18 qualifications, eight Skill Sets and 76 Units of Competency.

Find out more and view draft products


Feedback has been received on draft updates of two Units of Competency pertaining to Chain of Responsibility, which have been aligned with National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) requirements. 

The draft products will be submitted to the Assurance Body for review and recommendation to Skills Ministers by the end of April.

Find out more


Technical Committees of subject matter experts have been formed for the two existing training product development projects for the aviation industry. 

Find out more about these projects and a list of committee members via the links below:

VET Qualification Reform

To support an improved Vocational Education and Training qualification system that meets the changing needs of learners and industry, the Hon Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills and Training, appointed the tripartite Qualification Reform Design Group in 2023.

The Design Group provided their initial advice to the Skills and Workforce Ministerial Council (SWMC) in March 2024, proposing a system to preserve qualifications that are working well while enabling new qualification models to serve different purposes. Moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach, the system proposes qualifications are designed based on of the three following purposes:

  • Purpose 1 – qualifications leading to a specific occupation (for example a licensed trade)
  • Purpose 2 – qualifications to prepare learners for multiple occupations within an industry
  • Purpose 3 – qualifications that develop cross-sectoral or foundation skills and knowledge which may be applied across industries or lead to tertiary education and training pathways.

The Skills and Workforce Ministerial Council accepted all recommendations in the report from the Design Group, which recognises Jobs and Skills Councils (JSC) as key partners in the review of existing training products against the three purposes as a way of validating the purposes approach. 

Industry Skills Australia has commenced work on our approach to validating our qualifications against the three purposes, and we are well advanced on developing a qualification reform demonstration project. 

We look forward to the opportunity to work in partnership with the Design Group who have committed to supporting JSCs by advising on system issues and related reforms.

Jobs and Skills Council Ministerial Advisory Board appointments

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training, has announced the newly established Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) Ministerial Advisory Board, showcasing a commitment to providing strategic advice to the Minister for Skills and Training and the Jobs and Skills Australia Commissioner. 

The Ministerial Advisory Board, established as part of the legislative requirements for JSA, will provide crucial support to the JSA Commissioner in developing independent advice to the Government. The Board will consist of a Chair, Cath Bowtell, Deputy Chairs, Megan Lily and Liam O’Brien, and members representing various sectors to ensure a balanced tripartite partnership.

Industry Skills Australia congratulates all appointees to the JSA Ministerial Advisory Board.

Nominations are now open for the Australian Training Awards

Do you know an organisation or individual who deserves to be recognised for their exceptional work, excellence or innovation in Australia's vocational education and training (VET) and skills sector?

Nominations for the 2024 Australian Training Awards direct entry categories are now open!  

The Australian Training Awards are the peak national awards recognising excellence in the VET and skills sector. The awards highlight the outstanding contributions of individuals, businesses and registered training organisations (RTOs) who are demonstrating best practice and innovation in Australia’s critical VET sector. 

The following categories are open for nomination:

Finalists from these categories will join State and Territory Training Award winners in competing for a national award title at the Australian Training Awards gala event later this year. 

Nominations can be submitted via the Australian Training Awards website and close on Friday 31 May 2024

Why nominate?

There are numerous benefits of being nominated for an Australian Training Award. 

Nominating is an opportunity to be acknowledged as a leader in your field and have your achievements or your organisation’s achievements recognised nationally. 

All award finalists, including businesses and RTOs, are invited to become a VET ambassador through the exclusive Australian VET Alumni. The Alumni is a community of high achieving VET graduates, leaders and practitioners, businesses, schools and training providers committed to sharing their stories of success. They bring national and international awareness for Australia's VET sector and skills-based careers. 

More information

Meet the 2023 winners and finalists.

Follow the Australian Training Awards on Facebook and LinkedIn.

ITECA appoints Mark McKenzie to Chair its Board

The peak body representing independent skills training, higher education and international education providers, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), has appointed prominent business leader, Mark McKenzie, as Board Chair.

Industry Skills Australia congratulates Mark on his appointment.  

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