‘Perverse’ loan incentive funneling students into uni rather than TAFE

The NSW Skills Minister has called on the federal government to extend the HECS tertiary loan system to TAFE, arguing there is currently a “perverse incentive” for students to choose university over a trade because there is no up-front cost.

Concerns over the decline in vocational education and a funding disparity with the higher education sector was raised by state ministers during the Skills COAG held in Melbourne on Friday.

NSW Skills Minister Geoff Lee believes HECS should be afforded to TAFE students.
NSW Skills Minister Geoff Lee believes HECS should be afforded to TAFE students.Credit:Adam McLean

NSW Skills Minister Geoff Lee believes the up-front cost of many TAFE and vocational education courses was pushing potential students towards university, where their fees were covered by the Commonwealth HECS loan scheme.

“There is a perverse incentive for people to actually go to uni and do degrees that are irrelevant to what they want to do in life because there are no upfront fees,” Mr Lee told the Sun Herald.

“So if you’re from a low socio-economic background or some disadvantage, it’s pushing people into the higher-ed sector where they’re probably better off to do jobs and get good jobs and get good careers in the skills and training area.”

While the issue of funding inequity was on the table at COAG, Mr Lee went a step further after the meeting, suggesting the best solution would be for the federal government to allow TAFE students to access HECS loans, which are repaid incrementally once someone begins earning more than $51,000.

The Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee, takes a selfie with Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
The Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee, takes a selfie with Premier Gladys Berejiklian.Credit:Cole Bennetts

“It should be the one program in my opinion…HECS actually works very well,” Mr Lee said.

“We’d like to see that rolled out…there should just be one system that actually allows people in the VET system or TAFE to take advantage of those very low fee services, you know low interest rates so they can enroll in the course of their choosing.”

While certain commonwealth loans are offered to vocational education students studying a diploma or higher courses, a spokeswoman for Mr Lee said there were caps on those loans and they weren’t given to people undertaking certificate level studies.

Mr Lee said the federal government “recognise the disincentives” students faced when considering undertaking vocational training.

Mr Lee, who was promoted to cabinet following the Coalition’s March state election win, said it was currently taking too long for TAFE to recognise where skill shortages were, consult with the industry and develop a course.

The member for Parramatta said it took up to six years for TAFE to develop courses, which could be redundant by the time they were offered to students. He wants courses developed in six months.

“Every time I met with industry leaders, they all say a shortage of critical skills will negatively impact productivity and we need to act now,” he said.

NSW opposition spokesman for skills Jihad Dib said he would welcome further commonwealth funding for vocational education.

“Anything that is going that is going to improve enrolment into TAFE is something that we would be supportive of, but I’m not going to let the government get away with not acknowledging that they’ve made a massive mistake over a long period of time where they’ve run TAFE into the ground,” he said.

“We had teachers that were losing their jobs, courses that were being cut and accessibility really limited….the policies of the last eight years is what has led us to this.”

Federal Skills and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, who met with state ministers at COAG on Friday, did not respond to requests for comment.


One in five pupils leaves the education system without basic qualifications

The Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, branded the figures ‘shameful’ and suggested Government reforms might be to blame

Almost one in five young people in England is leaving the education system without basic qualifications.

A new analysis from the Children’s Commissioner for England found that 98,799 children — 18 per cent — left education aged 18 last year without achieving “level 2 attainment” — five GCSEs at A*-C or an equivalent technical qualification.

The Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, branded the figures “shameful” and suggested Government reforms might be to blame.

She has written to the Department for Education calling for an independent review.

Growing attainment gap

Young people are now required to stay in education or training until age 18, by which time it is estimated that many will have had more than £100,000 of public money spent on their education. But despite young people staying in education longer, the number leaving without reaching level 2 has increased by 28 per cent in three years, after falling continuously between 2005 and 2015.

According to the analysis, the increase has been driven by more pupils from poorer backgrounds failing to achieve basic qualifications.

The attainment gap between children in wealthy areas and those in poor areas increased from 13 per cent in 2015 to 17 per cent in 2018.


And the gap between children with special educational needs (SEN) and their classmates has also increased, with 45 per cent of SEN students failing to achieve basic qualifications.

Ms Longfield said: “It is shameful that last year almost 100,000 children in England left education at 18 without proper qualifications.

“It is particularly unacceptable that children growing up in the poorest areas of the country and children with special educational needs are most likely to leave school without reaching basic levels of attainment.”

She added: “The Government must urgently investigate why the progress that has been made over recent years in closing the attainment gap has stalled and is now going backwards.”

Government reforms

A briefing note from her office says education reforms by the Government appear to have hit poorer pupils and those with SEN.Read MoreHeadteachers call for GCSE English Language to be scrapped as a third of students fail English

It explains that reforms which were supposed to raise the standing of technical qualifications actually put schools off providing non-GCSE courses which used to be a route to level two, leading to “two unintended consequences”.

“Firstly, they have particularly penalised disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs,” it says.

“Secondly, they have closed off access to further study routes including vocational education and apprenticeships for an increasing number of children.”

The Department for Education was contacted for comment.


‘Callous’ training firm cops $26.5m rebuke

A western Sydney training institute has been slapped with a record $26.5 million penalty and must repay $56 million to the federal government over “callous” student recruitment tactics.

The Federal Court on Friday handed down the highest penalties sanction for Australian consumer law breaches in history to Cornerstone Investment-owned Empower Institute.

Empower enrolled more than 4,000 new students, some of whom had very poor literacy and numeracy skills, in VET FEE-HELP funded courses from June 2014 to December 2014.

Recruiters often targeted remote communities, indigenous communities and low socio-economic areas and in some cases offered laptops as inducements, the court found.

The consumer watchdog launched court proceedings against Empower in 2015 as part of a crackdown on dodgy private colleges, leading to reforms of the student-loans system in 2016.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims said Empower, which entered voluntary liquidation in April 2017, had engaged in “appalling tactics”.

“Empower misled many vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers who had poor English language literacy or numeracy skills, and others who could not even use a computer and did not have access to the internet,” Mr Sims said.

“It should have been clear that these consumers were not likely to complete Empower’s courses, but would still be saddled with significant lifetime student debt.”

Empower treated consumer protections with “callous indifference”, the court ruled, as it revelled in the financial spoils of students racking up large debts.

But the now-defunct education provider has now been ordered to hand back $56 million in VET funding despite the commonwealth cancelling over 6,000 debts for Empower students who enrolled in 2014 and 2015.

“The magnitude of these penalties … should serve as a serious warning to the vocational education sector, and all other Australian businesses, that engaging in unconscionable behaviour has very significant consequences,” Mr Sims said.


School leavers may need ‘learning passport’ to prove their academic knowledge

School leavers may need to show their readiness for the workforce, under a review of pathways to the workforce.
School leavers may need to show their readiness for the workforce, under a review of pathways to the workforce.

Secondary school leavers could be required to gain a “learning passport” that would detail both their academic knowledge and so-called soft skills, such as creativity, problem-solving and collaboration, attained throughout their education as part of a push to improve the transition from study to the workforce.

A national review of senior secondary pathways into work and higher education, launched on Friday, will also consider whether there is a need for “mandatory, reportable minimum standards” for literacy, numeracy and digital mastery amid widespread concerns that young people are leaving school with poor foundational skills.

The options were flagged in a discussion paper released as part of the review, which will be conducted by Western Sydney University chancellor Peter Shergold, and will aim to provide federal, state and territory education ministers with recommendations on how senior secondary students can better navigate the transition into work, further education or training.

The review will also weigh in on the modern conundrum of what essential knowledge, skills and capabilities students should expect gain in order to succeed in life after school, which has become a topic of vigorous debate as workplaces are tipped to evolve rapidly as a result of technological advancement and the emergency of artificial intelligence.

While the discussion paper highlights growing recognition of the types of skills that future workplaces will require from employees, such as innovation, creativity, problem solving and collaboration, it also notes calls for renewed efforts on ensuring that the basics of school education, particularly literacy and numeracy, are transmitted to students before they leave.

“Although literacy and numeracy skills are widely recognised as essential for successes in learning and work performance, and most jurisdictions have minimum standards in place for obtaining a [secondary school certificate] there is continuing criticism from employers and tertiary education providers that senior secondary graduates are leaving school without adequate foundational skills,” the paper says.

“Students and employers have differing views on their preparedness to enter employment.

“While the majority of students feel they have good skills in areas such as team work, generating new ideas and problem solving, many employers are concerned by the low levels of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills of school leavers in particular.”

Professor Shergold said young people needed to be better informed to make choices when they were still at school but were not being helped by a system where learning options, as well as information and advice, were fragmented.

“Some young people are left struggling to follow routes that do not suit their skills or aspiration, find themselves trapped in dead ends or spend time and money on gaining qualification beyond what they need for their chosen career,” he said. “This is not a new problem.”

Professor Shergold said the review would draw upon knowledge of recent reviews that sought to address elements of the problem and that potential reforms would hopefully enable young people greater flexibility to move back and forth between education sectors.

Education Minister Dan Tehan said the reviewers wanted to hear about the challenges young people faced upon leaving school as well as the views of parents, teachers, universities and employers.

Mr Tehan said the review was critical because young people faced an important decision of which options out of work, university or other training would best suit their strengths and help them realise their ambitions.

“The outcomes of the review will help senior secondary schools students better understand the wide range of available options and the best pathways to support their transition to work, university or training,” he said.


ACCC wins record $26m penalty against bankrupt education provider Empower

The Federal Court has handed a record $26.5 million fine to failed training college Empower Institute, as well as a demand it repays more than $56 million to the Commonwealth Government for funding it received to run courses.

Key points:

  • Empower was one of several training colleges that rorted the Federal VET-FEE-HELP loan scheme
  • Students were often were left with heavy debts, no diploma and no job, after paying around $15,000 for their courses
  • While Empower is unlikely to pay the fine, the ACCC says it is a warning to others and allows for the students affected to have their debts cancelled

However, the fine may prove academic, given the firm put itself into liquidation once the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) started action against it in late 2017.

It is understood the fine is unlikely to ever be paid, but lawyers are trawling through the wreckage to see how much the Commonwealth will be able to retrieve.

Unconscionable conduct

Empower — the trading front for a parent company Cornerstone Investments — was one of a number of education providers that failed during a Federal Government crackdown on rorting of the taxpayer-funded VET-FEE-HELP loan scheme in 2015.

At the time colleges were accused of targeting vulnerable people outside places like Centrelink with the offer of free laptops.

Many students were left with heavy VET-FEE-HELP debts, no diploma and no job, after paying around $15,000 for their courses.

Empower is just one of a number of actions the ACCC has taken against VET-FEE HELP providers

  • Productivity Partners Pty Ltd, trading as Captain Cook College
  • Unique International College Pty Ltd
  • Australian Institute of Professional Education Pty Ltd
  • Phoenix Institute of Australia Pty Ltd and Community Training Initiatives Pty Ltd
  • Careers Australia Group Limited
  • Australian Vocational Learning Centre Pty Ltd
  • Get Qualified Australia Pty Ltd

The ACCC also took action against:

  • Acquire Learning & Careers Pty Ltd, who marketed VET FEE-HELP courses.

Those that are still before the courts are:

  • Captain Cook
  • Unique International College
  • Phoenix Institute of Australia
  • Australian Institute of Professional Education (AIPE)

“The [Federal] Court found that Empower had engaged in a system of unconscionable conduct when it enrolled consumers in VET FEE-HELP funded courses, by marketing courses to consumers in remote communities, indigenous communities and low socio-economic areas, making false or misleading representations, using recruiters who were practically untrained and in some cases offering inducements such as free Google Chromebooks,” the ACCC said in a statement after the penalty was handed down.

Late last year, the Federal Court ruled Empower engaged in unconscionable conduct, misleading or deceptive conduct and breached the unsolicited consumer agreement provisions of the ACL.

Debts cancelled

Despite the unlikelihood of the penalty ever being paid, the ACCC maintains it is a significant win, given a court order was necessary to have students’ debts cancelled.

In all, the debts of more than 6,000 consumers enrolled in courses with Empower in 2014 and 2015 will now be cancelled.

The ACCC also argues the record penalty handed down demonstrates the serious nature of the conduct and will deter other businesses from engaging in similar conduct.

It is more than double the previous highest fines handed out under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) legislation, exceeding the $12 million We Buy Houses was ordered to pay last November and the $10 million Ford was hit with in April 2018.

All these penalties were all imposed before amendments lifted the maximum penalty for an individual breach of the ACL from $1.1 million to $10 million last year.

“Between June 2014 and December 2014, Empower enrolled more than 4,000 students, often using these appalling tactics,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“Empower misled many vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers who had poor English language literacy or numeracy skills, and others who could not even use a computer and did not have access to the internet.

“It should have been clear that these consumers were not likely to complete Empower’s courses, but would still be saddled with significant lifetime student debt.”

Message sent

Mr Sims welcomed the Commonwealth’s decision to cancel the student debts.

“It is important that victims are not saddled with a debt burden because they signed up to these courses as a result of Empower’s egregious conduct,” Mr Sims said.

“The magnitude of these penalties and the $56 million ordered to be repaid to the Commonwealth should serve as a serious warning to the vocational education sector, and all other Australian businesses, that engaging in unconscionable behaviour has very significant consequences.”

New legislation, which came into effect earlier this year, means that the Department of Employment may now cancel a consumer’s VET-FEE HELP debt if they have not completed a unit.

The Department of Employment will now be admitted as an unsecured creditor in the liquidation of Empower.

The ACCC sits somewhat lower on the list of creditors and will only be able to recover penalties if there are funds available after all other creditors have been paid.

Sourceaap: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-20/accc-wins-record-26-million-penalty-from-bankrupt-training-body/11533080

School reforms should include a new focus on literacy and numeracy

A single system for running universities and vocational education,  putting literacy and numeracy first, business incubators in schools and individual careers advisers could be part of a radical overhaul of education.

The chancellor of Western Sydney University and former head of John Howard’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Peter Shergold, said too many school leavers find themselves trapped in career “dead ends” and spend time and money on qualifications they don’t need.

Many school leavers find themselves trapped in “dead ends” and spend time and money on qualifications of they don’t need, says review chairman Professor Peter Shergold.  Glenn Hunt

As part of the Gonski 2.0 reform package the government wants a shake-up of the transition between school and work, training or university and the federal Education Minister Dan Tehan commissioned Professor Shergold to report back to him.

In his discussion paper released on Friday, the former top public servant said the demarcation between university and training was outdated and too many school leavers were making bad career choices from which there was no return.

He said a single system that gave money equally to skills training and university should be on the agenda. And he wants TAFE students doing certificate courses to get fee help which is now denied to them.

“Funding models with high upfront contributions may influence decisions about students’ skills instead of their passions or interests.”

Literacy and numeracy get a high priority and Professor Shergold said there should be mandatory, reportable minimum standards which should feed into a new type of secondary school education certificate, or “learning passport”, to which other qualifications could be added.

This would have to take into account skills that were in demand in the new economy, such as “enterprise, digital, technical, critical and analytical skills, resilience, active citizenship, emotional intelligence and self awareness”.

Director of the education program at the Centre for Independent Studies, Fiona Mueller, said Australia was coming from a long way behind in setting pathways for school leavers, especially on vocational education versus university.

There were problems setting national minimum standards for literacy and numeracy but it was good Professor Shergold wanted students to make choices that were in their interest without compromising learning basic skills.

Reform meant the states had to be given flexibility even though this was a “hugely expensive duplication of effort”, Dr Mueller said.

Meanwhile, duplication of effort looks likely to plague the training sector after a meeting of the new COAG Skills Council in Melbourne on Friday.

Skills ministers are deciding how to implement the Joyce Review of vocational training which deals with the same demarcation between university and TAFE  as Professor Shergold is considering.

But the skills ministers’ meeting broke up after agreeing individual states would implement the Joyce Review with variations that suited local conditions.

NSW skills minister Geoff Lee told AFR Weekend every state had reserved the right to “custom build” its own set of Joyce principles.

Other problems included delays in getting new courses approved.

“It can take up to six years  to develop some packages, by which time they’re out of date. We have to be more responsive to industry needs,” Dr Lee said.

Sourceaap: https://www.afr.com/policy/health-and-education/school-reforms-should-include-a-new-focus-on-literacy-and-numeracy-20190920-p52tbk

‘Going for gold’: Adore founder sells majority stake to private equity

Private equity fund Quadrant has snapped up a majority stake in online beauty retailer Adore Beauty.

Founder Kate Morris says the sale gives her “the opportunity to pick things up a bit and really go for gold”.

Kate Morris has sold a 60 per cent stake in Adore Beauty.
Kate Morris has sold a 60 per cent stake in Adore Beauty. Credit:Kristoffer Paulsen

The 41 year old started Adore from the garage of her Melbourne home and with her partner James Height has grown it into Australia’s largest online beauty retailer with turnover of $52 million last year.

Adore Beauty has been self funded since Ms Morris bought back the stake she sold to Woolworths in 2016 and she said Quadrant’s cash will help drive the startup’s growth.

“There are challenges to being self funded when you are growing fast,” she said. “We are looking forward to being better resourced and taking advantages of other opportunities that will come our way.”

Adore Beauty will use the undisclosed sum to expand its product offerings, increase marketing and invest in technology and content to improve customer engagement.

We came across people who didn’t get it. More fool them isn’t it?

Kate Morris

Ms Morris said further international expansion was also a possibility.

“We are still getting lots of growth in Australia and we have just launched in New Zealand but we already get quite a lot of traffic from international customers as it is and at the moment we are not able to fill that demand,” she said.

Adore Beauty is the third company founded by a woman that Quadrant has invested in this month. The firm earlier bought majority stakes in baby swaddle business Love To Dream and period underwear brand ModiBodi.

“We came across people who didn’t get it. More fool them isn’t it? People who don’t have the ability to understand a business for the female customer, there are going to be a lot of things they miss out on. We are really happy we found Quadrant and I’m sure they are happy they found us.”

Quadrant managing director Justin Ryan, partner Simon Pither and investment associate Youngsoo Kim will join Adore’s board.

Mr Ryan said the firm was attracted to Adore Beauty’s online brand built over 20 years.

“The beauty industry is showing strong growth driven by social media and we believe Adore is an innovator well positioned for the future,” he said.

Follow MySmallBusiness on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Where are the jobs of the future?

Here are the skills that will get you ready for the future workforce. Photo: Getty

Monash Business School

There’s a lot of uncertainty about the extent of artificial intelligence on the jobs of tomorrow. Without bringing out a crystal ball, here are three areas that are already experiencing a significant rise in jobs with seemingly boundless opportunities for growth across multiple industries.

1. Risk management

The revelations from the Hayne Royal Commission into the banking and financial sector reveal Australians have been appallingly let down when it comes to governance.

If nothing else, it reflects the need to upskill to meet more complex compliance demands and hone the ability to identify and respond to key risks in your business.

The new Monash Business School Master of Regulation and Compliance is designed in conjunction with regulation, compliance and business law practitioners, so you’ll graduate expert in regulation and compliance across sectors such as financial services, sustainability and environmental regulation and corporate regulation, as well as the emerging area of artificial intelligence and technology.

But the important thing to remember about this course is that you don’t have to be a lawyer. It’s highly practical, with real-life case studies, but also explores compliance functions from an ethical and practical governance perspective.

If you have found the need for this skill-set seeping into your current role, then this is the course for you.

2. Project management

Australia’s infrastructure pipeline faces an increasingly critical skills shortage, according to a 2019 audit report from Infrastructure Australia. It expressed concern that the country is failing to achieve best-practice in planning, funding and delivering infrastructure projects.

“Projects are getting larger and increasingly complex, and will require new approaches. How the public sector makes decisions, handles procurement, selects contract models and handles risk will have significant bearing on the functionality and efficiency of our infrastructure,” the report says.

Monash Business School’s Master of Project Management covers areas such as as project and business finance, leadership, managerial problem-solving and decision-making, to infrastructure project and policy evaluation, negotiation strategy and skills, enterprise and IT systems.

Be ahead of the game and enhance your skills. Photo: Getty

It has also been designed as an interdisciplinary course across the Monash faculties of Business, Engineering and IT.

This sort of career move would suit someone upskilling, expanding their skill set or looking for a dynamic new direction.

3. Big data

In its ‘2019 Jobs Rated’ report, the US jobs site CareerCast reported a 30 per cent increase in demand for statisticians or data scientists and this is also an area of rapid demand across Australia with corporate, government and non-profit sectors.

Monash Business School’s new Master of Business Analytics is designed to help you better understand the world around you by analysing and interpreting data. You will also learn statistical thinking, probabilistic modelling and computational techniques and how to express data through web apps and interactive graphics.

If you’re already in data science or working as a statistician (ranked as among the top jobs in the world by CareerCast due to the demand for that skill-set), this course will really deepen your knowledge. It starts with introductions to concepts such as machine learning and data analysis and goes into intensive specialist areas such as high dimensional data analysis and even Bayesian time series econometrics.

This is the sort of career move that would most suit people who have backgrounds in engineering, computer science and mathematics and who are looking to work in government, education and the non-profit sector. Best of all, it is taught by some of the world’s leading econometricians.


TAFE NSW registration renewed

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee today welcomed the decision by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to renew the registration of TAFE NSW as a single Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for a further 7 years, the maximum renewal granted by the national regulator.

“This is a reflection of TAFE NSW’s status as a quality provider of vocational education and training,” Mr Lee said.

“I’d like to thank ASQA for the faith they have shown in TAFE NSW’s ability to deliver high quality courses across the State,” Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee said TAFE NSW takes great pride in the quality learning outcomes it achieves for its students.

“I want TAFE NSW to be the gold standard of skills and training Australia-wide and I recognise the importance of ASQA in helping us achieve this goal.”

This renewal of TAFE NSW’s registration completes the transition of all TAFE locations from 12 separate RTOs into a single RTO.


More than 20,000 extra mining workers needed by 2024: report

The mining industry’s peak body has predicted 20,767 more workers will be needed in the next five years and called on government and business to “learn our lessons from the past” to prevent a skills shortage.

A report by the Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA says action is needed to avoid a repeat of challenges faced during the mining boom, when employers were forced to offer high salaries and generous benefits as they struggled to lure workers.

Australia will need more than 20,000 extra mining workers by 2024, a new report says.
Australia will need more than 20,000 extra mining workers by 2024, a new report says.CREDIT:VINCENT MUNDY

“We must learn our lessons from the past and be better at industry workforce planning, nurturing the skills pipeline, facilitating inter-sector labour mobility, and avoiding projects cannibalising each other for critical trades and semi-skilled roles,” the report, to be released on Tuesday, says.

The new jobs expected to be created by 2024 include 8660 mining plant operators; 2847 heavy diesel fitters; 4110 supervisors and other white-collar roles; 4180 engineers, technicians, geologists and related roles; and 970 other trades, such as electrical, mechanical and maintenance workers.

The forecast draws on official data relating to the 57 mining projects – worth about $41 billion – in the “committed” or “likely to proceed” phases, and takes into account the impact of automation and expected mine closures.

It includes 5714 mining jobs in Queensland, where the issue of coal mining jobs was pivotal at the May federal election, but attributes only 800 to the Adani mine. Coal mines make up nine of the 57 projects nationally (16 per cent), seven of which are either thermal coal or a mix of thermal and coking.

AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said Australia’s mining industry was “facing new workforce demand at levels not seen since the previous investment and construction ‘boom’ “.

“While demand across the next four years will be far steadier than the unprecedented growth we saw in 2005-12, it is clear that securing the pipeline of skills to support mining project growth to 2024 will be a significant challenge,” he said. “We must avoid a scenario where nationally significant mining projects are delayed by skills shortages, or competing for engineers, trades and skilled operators with the $100 billion worth of infrastructure projects in Australia’s development pipeline.”

The jobs forecast does not include 153 mining projects at the feasibility stage considered “possible” to proceed, “many of which are advanced in planning and awaiting final investment decision”.

Mr Knott said the report had taken a “conservative” approach to calculating the expected number of future jobs, meaning its forecast “could be exceeded very significantly”.Play Video

Robo debt is 'illegal': Shorten

Play video2:06WA mining industry heading for skills shortage

Thousands of positions in the mining industry are on offer with 20,000 new jobs available over the next two years.

Employment and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash said the Morrison government was “acutely aware of the workforce requirements in the Australian economy” and was addressing them through “major reforms” to the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

The government committed $535 million in the federal budget to overhaul the VET system, including a regional apprenticeship wage subsidy trial and a review of the National Skills Needs List.

Senator Cash said while the Coalition was responding to “structural issues” within the VET system, business needed to play its part.

“Employers know better than anyone what their workforce requirements will be in the future, so it is just as important for them to effectively plan for, and skill up, the workforce they need,” she said. “Workforce planning is not simply a problem for government.”

The government is also reviewing the skilled migrant visa list.

source aaphttps://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/more-than-20-000-extra-mining-workers-needed-by-2024-report-20190916-p52rql.html