Two outcomes of the Joyce Review were recommendations to establish a National Skills Commission and to pilot new Skills Organisations in two key industries: human services care and digital technology.

Here’s what’s been happening since.

Introducing the National Skills Organisation

The National Skills Organisation, to be launched in July 2020, will provide leadership for the sector and oversee the Australian Government’s investment in VET and drive long-term improvements to the sector. Its roles will include researching and analysing future skills needs across industries “to ensure government funding addresses national labour market priorities including those arising from developing technologies.” Sitting alongside the National Skills Commission is the National Careers Institute.

The Commission’s roles and functions will be refined through a co-design process in collaboration with industry and other key stakeholders. A discussion paper starts this process off. The paper considers both roles and governance options.

In September 2019, Skills Ministers met and agreed to three priority areas for action, which are outlined in the discussion paper. These priority areas are: Relevance, Quality and Accessibility. The Commission “will consider key questions around how to:

Support quality training by considering how the current funding system impacts on the quality of training

Improve access to training, by considering whether the Commonwealth investment in training and the VET system supports access by those who will benefit most

Improve the relevance of training, by consolidating intelligence on current and future skill needs, providing a robust, evidence-based and independent source of information for governments, industry and training providers.”

There is an opportunity to “Have your say” about the National Skills Organisation and contribute to the co-design process until 15 November 2019. Three broad questions are raised in the discussion paper. These concern its possible roles and responsibilities, the organisational capabilities it will need and the governance needed to give it “the legitimacy and support it needs.”

Skills Organisations

$41.7 million to is being invested to pilot two Skills Organisations, one in human services care and the other in digital technology.

The pilots aim to “trial new ways of working to shape the national training system to be more responsive to skills needs for those industries – from the identification of skills needs, to qualifications development, through to improving the quality of training delivery and assessment.”

To complement this process a co-design process will be used to inform and refine the Skills Organisation model. The basic aim, however, is to help the sector to be more responsive.

Again, a discussion paper has been prepared to assist the consultation and co-design process, and there is an opportunity to “Have your say” until 15 November 2019. The aim is to “explore opportunities for ‘future-state’ Skills Organisations to improve industry leadership and employer confidence in the VET system, as well as improving quality in learner outcomes.” In order to do this the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Skills, Small and family Business is “holding national, co-design workshops with industry peak bodies, small and large employers, employee representative and others.”

The trials and consultations provide an opportunity to explore and challenge the existing arrangements for the development of training packages and industry engagement and consider the opportunities for improvement the Skills Organisation model might provide.