Update on VET reform

Update on VET reform

  • Published on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

On 25 June 2014, Minister for Industry, the Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP outlined his vision for a more accessible and responsive national training system that gives businesses the skilled workers they need now, and into the future.

Minister Macfarlane was the keynote speaker at the National Skills Summit, hosted by the Australian Council of Private Education and Training and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In his address, Minister Macfarlane focussed on the need to improve training and employment outcomes for students, with a reform agenda aimed at creating a truly industry-led national vocational education and training (VET) system.

Minister Macfarlane said he wanted to make sure reforms to VET considered the system as a whole, recognising the diverse and dynamic market in which training providers operate. He reiterated the need to build a strong and streamlined framework in which a quality system would support consumers to make informed choices.

“If we get VET reform right we can make an enormous contribution to a better Australia – a more dynamic, more competitive and more productive Australia,” Mr Macfarlane said.

New provider and regulator standards for comment
The Minister also released the new draft provider and regulator standards for consultation. This addresses one of the three priority actions agreed by Australian, state and territory skills ministers at the COAG Industry and Skills Council meeting on 3 April 2014, to re-examine the draft training provider and regulator standards produced by the former office of the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC).

The new draft standards take into account a range of stakeholder views including issues raised during the broader VET reform consultation process undertaken in early 2014 and “will support quality and provide clarity around marketing of training courses, subcontracting arrangements and compliance,” Mr Macfarlane said.

The new draft training provider and regulator standards are available here and comments are welcome via email to vettaskforce@industry.gov.au. A series of webinars is planned throughout July and further information will be available on this website soon.

ASQA process review
Minister Macfarlane also released the independent review of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) commissioned by the former ministerial council.

“The process review makes a number of really useful findings for how improvements can be made to the way ASQA operates that are consistent with what we are hearing from the VET reform process…

“We are looking at ways to make these things happen. Ultimately you will see an approach to regulation that is much better targeted to the circumstances of individual RTOs,” Mr Macfarlane said.

For more information, and to view the report, visit www.vetreform.industry.gov.au

No new fees and less red tape for training providers
The Minister also confirmed the national training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), will not raise its fees in 2014–15, easing the financial burden on registered training organisations over the coming year. The Minister noted that for the foreseeable future ASQA’s fees will not rise and indicated he would be reviewing the regulator’s operating funding to ensure it can support the reform agenda.

From 1 July 2014, ASQA will remove the requirement for a financial viability assessment to be undertaken as part of the re-registration process for existing RTOs. A financial viability assessment will still be required for organisations seeking to be initially registered as an RTO, or in exceptional circumstances where serious financial viability concerns about an existing RTO have been raised.

VET in schools
Assistant Minister for Education the Hon. Sussan Ley MP also spoke at the summit with a particular focus on VET in schools.

More information
For more information visit www.vetreform.industry.gov.au