Strengthening industry engagement
The Government is giving Victorian industry a clearer voice in training, with the launch of a new approach to engaging industry and employers with Victoria’s training system. Under Skills First there will be even stronger links between training and industry.
Victorian Skills Commissioner
To ensure alignment between training and industry's skills needs, the Government appointed Neil Coulson in December 2015 as the Victorian Skills Commissioner (VSC).The VSC, who is supported by the Department of Education and Training, provides independent advice to the Minister for Training and Skills.
In the first stages of his appointment, the VSC facilitated consultations on the development of the funded course list and convened the National Disability Insurance Scheme Skills Forum to consider the training implications of rolling out the Scheme.
Industry Engagement Framework
On 10 August 2016 the Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert and the Victorian Skills Commissioner Neil Coulson launched the new Industry Engagement Framework for the training system. The framework has been designed to be dynamic and flexible, with regular and ongoing engagement with industry. It enables information to be gathered from across the breadth of Victorian industries, as well as the capture of information about regional industry needs and specific training and system issues.
For more information on the role of the VSC and the Industry Engagement Framework visit the VSC website.
Funding and initiatives
Workforce Training Innovation Fund
The shift to a knowledge economy, new and emerging technologies, continued globalisation and structural change are having a direct impact on employment and workforce skill requirements.
The Workforce Training Innovation Fund (WTIF) will provide scope and support for innovation in the training and TAFE system to respond to workforce skill challenges and is aligned with the Victorian Government’s broader economic development agenda and priority sectors/industry strategies.
An initial allocation of $40 million in 2017 for Workforce Training Innovation will be available to industry/training provider partnerships to improve the quality and relevance of training to industry and/or enterprises to develop and deploy new skills required for productivity improvement.
Fund categories include:
- Future Growth Sectors - development of skills development approaches for new and emerging industries and Victorian Government priority sectors
- Workforce Training and Skills Development - improving delivery of workplace skills to support business productivity
- New Training Programs and Methods - innovation in course development, product design and delivery in support of VET sector improvement
- Applied Research - research solving 'real-world' industry and business productivity challenges.
More information on WTIF will be available in the last quarter of 2016.
Funding for Regional and Specialist Training
Funding for Regional and Specialist Training (RST Funding), to address skills shortages in niche occupations particularly in regional and emerging markets, will be made available to meet industry and community demand for training which is too costly to deliver through the contestable training and TAFE system.
This funding will enable people to get the skills in their local community rather than be required to travel to the city to get training.
An initial allocation of $30 million will be available in 2017 where current training activity does not meet industry priorities in respect to:
- localised employers needs in regional Victoria (Regional)
- specialised occupations of economic significant to Victoria (Specialist).
More information on RST Funding will be available in the last quarter of 2016.