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.


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

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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

20 skills needed for the future of work

The HR director of Stryker explains how to create a ‘strengths-based culture’

20 skills needed for the future of work

The focus at Stryker is on understanding and treating all employees as individuals, according to Erin Cramlet, Senior Director, HR, StrykerSouth Pacific.

“That’s why we have such a focus on a strengths-based culture,” she added.

“When we considered the pace of change over the next few decades, we wondered, what would it be like to meet our colleague of the future?

“Automation and robotics reduce repetitive tasks, therefore human-centric roles can offer more personalised experiences and provide meaningful work for our people.”

Cramlet’s comments come as the medical technology company has imagined the colleague of the future based on 20 human qualities Stryker sees as key for employees to succeed in the future of work.

As new technologies, including automation and robotics, are incorporated into the workforce, the nature of work will change. Stryker wanted to envision the human qualities that might support a great place to work for years to come.

Using publicly available research and its own organisational and industry expertise, Stryker identified 20 of the most important human qualities needed for individuals to succeed when working side-by-side with technology.

The following are 20 skills needed for the future of work:

  • Impactful communicator
  • Active listener
  • Team player and collaborative
  • Emotionally connected
  • Result orientated
  • Life-long learner
  • Human centric
  • Influencer and negotiator
  • Value driven and ethical
  • Purpose driven
  • Good under pressure
  • Opportunistic
  • Authentic
  • Strong judgement
  • Creative
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Problem solver and critical thinker – design thinking
  • Data interpreter
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Digitally literate

Cramlet added that Stryker strives to uncover how best to use people and technology side-by-side and decisions need to be made about how to help people grow and develop into the future.

“Stryker is dedicated to aligning a potential candidate’s talents and strengths to a role, not just focusing on their previous experience,” said Cramlet.

“The company acknowledges that as technology advances, the focus on human qualities becomes even more important.”

Moreover, identifying what attributes will be important in the future and helping employees to develop towards those will become paramount to a company’s success.

Cramlet added that while organisations are continuing to recruit for specific skills, the reality is that some roles do not even exist yet.

“With the acquisition of Mako, robotic technology, that is used during Joint Replacement surgery, Stryker now has over 50 people working in roles that did not exist four years ago,” said Cramlet.

“We were able to seamlessly hire for these technical roles by looking at what innate talent we needed and thinking outside the box for where to find this talent.”

For example, Cramlet said Stryker had great success in hiring driven physiotherapists whose understanding of anatomy and spatial awareness helped them to adapt to the technical nature of the role.

READ MORE: This is how the future of work will ‘reinvent L&D’

“When we find the right person, we help them identify their strengths and then adapt the role to fit the individual,” said Cramlet.

“We harness our employees’ natural talents and build their skills through ongoing learning opportunities, so our people are empowered. This ensures that we are building an adaptive, motivated and highly engaged workforce, that will meet the ever-evolving future of work.”


New Study Reveals Skills Gap Grew By Double Digits Since Last Year


The annual report by Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace shows companies are still struggling to adjust to the future of work

Wiley Education Services, a division of Wiley (JW-A) (JW-B) that provides tailored services and technology solutions for university and enterprise partners, and Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm preparing leaders for disruptions in recruiting, development and employee engagement, today announced the results of a survey of human resource leaders showing the skills gap grew by 12 percent since last year.

The finding comes from the second annual report, “Closing the Skills Gap 2019,” which was released today. According to the study, 64 percent of the 600 HR leaders surveyed said there is a skills gap in their company, up from 52 percent in the 2018 report. This year, 44 percent of HR leaders reported it was more difficult to fill their skills gap than it was last year, and 42 percent said the skills gap was making their company less efficient.

“The skills gap is growing, becoming a larger and more serious drag on business efficiency,” said Jeremy Walsh, VP of Enterprise Learning Solutions at Wiley Education Services. “Our research shows that, for the second year in a row, companies are grasping for solutions to improve their ability to find basic talent needs and one thing that is becoming very clear, companies that are willing to build talent versus simply buying talent will be the winners over the next few years.”

Other significant findings of the report include:

  • Pace of change is driving gap growth. Increasing changes in technology and required matching skills was the most often-cited cause of the skills gap (37%), followed by the lack of skilled talent capable of moving into positions with more responsibilities (31%) and lack of qualified candidates (30%).
  • HR leaders increasingly say needed skills are temporary. A significant share of employers (40%) estimate that a skill is usable for four years or less. Fast-paced obsolescence escalates the need for employers to hire or upskill workers when gaps form.
  • A college degree isn’t the only pathway. While 68 percent of employers say a degree is used to validate hard skills, nearly all (90%) employers said they would hire a candidate that doesn’t have a 4-year college degree.
  • Tuition reimbursement is popular. Over half (52%) of employers said that they use a tuition reimbursement program for upskilling and a significant majority (88%) cover at least some of the cost of upskilling for employees.
  • Companies say they need to invest in workforce skills, but many don’t. Although 68 percent of HR leaders say their company very often or always communicates the value of upskilling, less than half of companies (48%) spend more than $500 per year per employee on upskilling or continuing education.
  • Employers are working more with schools. Nearly two-thirds of employers (64%) say their organization has collaborated with schools to make curriculum more responsive to workforce needs in the past three years, an increase of 14 percentage points since 2018.
  • Hiring practices vary with respect to offering jobs to candidates with certain demographic factors. More than six in ten (61%) employers often offer jobs to military veterans, nearly two-thirds of employers have hired people considered retired or unemployed, nearly half (46%) often offer roles to non-Americans.
  • Employers increasingly prioritize solutions such as AI and outsourcing over upskilling. Forty percent say they prefer to invest in AI than upskilling, an increase of 11 percent over last year. And nearly half (47%) prefer to hire gig workers instead of full-time employees, a jump of nine percent over 2018.

“Now is the time for companies to take concrete steps to address this issue before it further impacts business outcomes,” said Jeanne Meister, Founding Partner, Future Workplace. “Companies should not choose between investing in artificial intelligence or upskilling employees, they need to do both! No industry will be immune to the shortage of skilled labor needed to remain competitive today.”

“The skills gap continues to get wider with more than seven million unfilled jobs in America. Companies can’t find the right talent, with the right skills at the right time and it’s preventing them from growth,” said Dan Schawbel, Research Director at Future Workplace. “As a result, this study concludes that while they might have had a singular focus on a specific type of candidate in the past, that’s changed out of necessity. They are open to hiring candidates, such as retirees and veterans, because it expands their talent pool.”

Follow us on Twitter @WileyNews

About Future Workplace

Future Workplace is a HR Advisory and Research firm preparing leaders for what’s next in the future workforce and workplace. Future Workplace works with heads of talent acquisition, talent management, human resources, corporate learning, and diversity to prepare them for the disruptions impacting recruitment, employee development, and engagement. Future Workplace is host of the Future Workplace Network, an Executive Council that includes heads of Human Resources, Corporate Learning, and Talent Management, who come together to discuss, debate and share “next” practices impacting the workplace and workforce of the future. For more information, please visit: http://www.futureworkplace.com.

About Wiley Education Services

Wiley Education Services, a division of Wiley, is a leading, global provider of technology-enabled education solutions to meet the evolving needs of universities, corporations and ultimately, learners. We partner with more than 60 institutions across the U.S., Europe and Australia, and support over 800 degree programs. Our best-in-class services and market insights are driven by our deep commitment and expertise—proven to elevate enrollment, retention and completion rates. For more information visit edservices.wiley.com

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company’s website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190904005094/en/

Skills shortage needs a ‘trades training rethink’

Incat Managing director Craig Clifford ... “tradesmen and tradeswomen are well sought after.” Picture: Richard Jupe
Incat Managing director Craig Clifford … “tradesmen and tradeswomen are well sought after.” Picture: Richard Jupe

One of Australia’s most successful boat builders and exporters is being hampered by a skills shortage and is urging government to “step in” to bolster trades training, including at school level.

Incat Australia, based in Hobart’s north, needs to expand its workforce of 650 by a further 150 to meet demand for its high-speed, aluminium super ferries, dubbed the jumbos of the seas.

Managing director Craig Clifford — who shares his company’s story with The Dealmagazine, in The Australian today — said ­finding the skilled labour required to meet demand was “proving ­difficult”.

“Tasmania at the moment is going through something of a building boom, so tradesmen and tradeswomen are well sought after,” Mr Clifford said.

“We’ve got around 70 apprentices and are really focusing on training and building up the skill level of the workforce. We could do with more skilled workers — particularly welders and fabricators — tomorrow. But you can’t just wave a wand and have them appear. So we are seeking them out through the marketplace and we are doing in-house training.”

The company, which exports ferries around the globe, is already one of Tasmania’s largest employers of apprentices, if not the largest. Mr Clifford said it hired locally whenever possible, minimising the use of foreign workers, but found a shortage of people with the necessary skills.

The company, which has orders on its books providing at least four years of work for its Prince of Wales Bay operations, was having to factor in the skills shortage.

He encouraged governments to “step in” and boost training schemes to ensure young people were more work-ready.

Mr Clifford’s father, company chairman Robert Clifford, urged policymakers to focus on developing trades skills early — in schools — and linked the issue to the global competitiveness of Australian manufacturing.

“It is difficult to remain competitive in Tasmania — the high cost of labour against the low cost of ­labour in most of the rest of the world,” said Mr Clifford Sr.

“We can only be competitive by building a better product and being as efficient as possible.”


Revealed: Australian industries that will see highest job growth in next five years

skilled migrants

Which industries will create the most jobs in the coming five years? Take a look at the industries predicted to create most jobs in Australia according to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

According to the Australian Jobs report, Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business’s annual publication about the Australian labour market there has been a significant shift away from medium-skill jobs towards higher-skill jobs in last two decades and a decline in lower-skill jobs.

The report states having the ‘ability to gain new skills and apply existing skills to new contexts will be critical to success in the changing labour market’.

A recent survey by the World Economic Forum found employers thought that, by 2022, more than half of all current employees would require significant reskilling or upskilling.

“Interestingly, the majority of employment growth over the past five years has been in occupations that generally require post-school qualifications.

“This is a long-term trend that is expected to continue, with the vast majority of jobs growth over the next five years projected to be in higher-skilled occupations,” Labour market analyst Ivan Neville said.

With the job market continuously evolving, here’s a look at the industries that will create maximum new jobs or see large falls in employment in Australia in the next five years.

Industries that will see maximum job creation:

According to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, most new jobs will be created in four specific industries – Health Care and Social Assistance, Construction, Education and Training and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.

Health Care and Social Assistance industry is projected to have the strongest employment growth of any industry over the five years to May 2023,’ says the Australian Jobs report.

The top employing occupations in this industry are registered nurses, aged and disabled carers, child carers, nursing support and personal care workers and receptionists.

Construction industry which employs carpenters and joiners, electricians, construction managers, plumbers, is projected to have above-average employment growth over the five years to May 2023.

Education and Training employment is projected to increase strongly over the five years to May 2023, influenced by growth in the school-aged population, continued strength in international education and the growing demand for adult and community education.

There will be a great demand for primary and secondary school teachers, education aides, University lecturers and tutors.

The demand for highly educated workers like accountants, software and applications programmers, solicitors, graphic and web designers who come in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry category is too projected to increase strongly over the five years to 2023.

Industries with job growth

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

Industries that will see a big decline in jobs:

Machinery and Equipment Wholesaling, Printing, Agriculture, Polymer Product and Rubber Product Manufacturing and Non-Metallic Mineral Product Manufacturing will see a big decline in employment prospects.

Employment is projected to fall in Wholesale Trade (down by 9,700, or 2.7%) and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (1,400, or 0.4%).

The 10 industry subdivisions that are projected to record the largest falls in employment include some in Wholesale Trade and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing but, notably, employment in a number of manufacturing subsectors is also projected to fall.

industries with job decline

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

‘Not just technical skills but need to be a whole package’

Melbourne-based career coach, Naishadh Gadani says the latest data is in sync with the trends seen now.

“It is mostly driven by population growth and the growing number of seniors in our country. Health Care and Social Assistance is creating a lot of jobs right now and will continue to grow in the next five years. With a booming population, we need more hospitals and medical staff and with an increased focus on aged-care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), there is a big demand for aged-care workers and disability carers,” Mr Gadani told SBS Hindi.

Mr Gadani says the demand for school teachers and university lecturers too will continue in the next five years due to the population boom in big cities.

“Population growth means we need more schools and therefore this report rightly points out that primary and secondary school teachers, as well as university lecturers, will be in great demand in the next five years.

But it is not just technical skills that will land you the role, says labour market analyst Ivan Neville.

Mr Neville noted that the jobs market is highly competitive and employers are not just looking for people with technical skills but for people who have the ‘whole package’.

“In addition to education and experience, employers increasingly value staff who have employability skills — which includes personal and people skills, a good work ethic and the ability to work in a team.”

(This is part one of our report on Australian Job Market Outlook)

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Queensland facing potential skills shortages in 139 different areas

Queensland could soon be struggling for workers in dozens of skills areas from plumbing to robotics unless changes are made to vocational education, the state’s Premier says.

Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday identified 139 potential future skills shortages in traditional, but rapidly changing professions.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks to the media alongside Tourism Minister Kate Jones about the need to revamp Australia's future skills training system.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks to the media alongside Tourism Minister Kate Jones about the need to revamp Australia’s future skills training system.CREDIT:AAP

Electrical works, plumbing, engineering, healthcare, hospitality, early childhood, digital technologies, robotics and utilities all fit the bill.

Skills and training were among a number of issues Australia’s premiers, chief ministers and the prime minister tackled on Friday at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Cairns.

Ms Palaszczuk’s comments came before the meeting and the council later produced a vision statement for a revamp of Australia’s vocational education training sector.

Ms Palaszczuk said future skills shortages were the reason the Queensland government launched a “free” apprenticeships scheme on August 5, which will cost taxpayers $32 million.

That policy will encourage 60,000 Queenslanders under 21 to take up an apprenticeship.

“They will be in skills areas where we have recognised where we will have skills shortages in the decades to come,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Queensland has already done the work and identified 139 skills where there could be shortages into the future.”

After the meeting Ms Palaszczuk said the $32 million funding would pay for the training component for apprentices to make taking on an apprentice more cost-effective for businesses.

“I think we need to make it easier for young people to get a loan if they choose to go into vocational education and training,” she said, adding that traineeship fees needed to be simplified.

At its peak in 2014, total government expenditure in the training sector was more than $9 billion a year but by 2018 this had fallen to well below $7 billion.
At its peak in 2014, total government expenditure in the training sector was more than $9 billion a year but by 2018 this had fallen to well below $7 billion.CREDIT:STEVEN SIEWERT

“There has a been a lot of focus in the past on university education but I think there needs to be an equal focus on vocational education because there is going to be a skills shortage and we need to get young people into these employment opportunities now.”

Prime Minister Scott Morison said the “jobs of the future” weren’t just in technology, but increasingly in human services areas such as aged or disability care.

He said parents should be confident about their child’s future if they chose to pursue a trade or a skills-based education.

“It is not second prize,” he said.

The federal government funded a National Skills Commission in its April budget to better identify and plan for skills shortages and work with industry to design training courses, but it is yet to be established.

A new COAG Skills Council will present leaders with a reform road map for the sector in early 2020.

A detailed federal government study, Strengthening Skills, released earlier this agreed changes were needed to simplify student loans.

“The Commonwealth and the states and territories agree to develop a simpler, nationally consistent funding policy for all government-subsidised qualifications, which provides confidence and certainty to trainees, industry, employers and all funded providers, public or private,” the Joyce report says.

Ms Palaszczuk said work to restrict Australia’s waste export industry and control plastics and packaging was also commendable.


COAG Call to action on skills

The Australian Chamber is calling on the country’s political leaders to agree to reform our vital Vocation Education and Training (VET) system, to deliver the skills that Australian jobseekers and businesses need, at tomorrow’s meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in Cairns.

Prime Minister Morrison has put vocational training back on the agenda following the recent Joyce review of VET that he announced to ACCI’s members late last year.

It comes amid evidence that, despite significant funding growth in all other sectors within education, the amount of funding nationally for VET and the number of government funded VET students has declined over recent years.

Australian Chamber CEO James Pearson said it was important to improve confidence in the system.

“We know how fraught discussions about VET reform have been, and recognise that COAG has attempted on a number of occasions to consider changes that will make a real difference to the support provided to students and industry Now is the time for decisions to be made.”

“Industry stands ready to work with all governments, and we know that the Prime Minister is committed to positive change.

“We have worked closely with Ministers and advisers, and government officials, in the lead up to, and after, the Prime Minister’s announcement of the VET review to our members last November. Our network of state and territory chambers of commerce – the peak business bodies in each COAG jurisdiction – and industry associations is well placed to work with all governments on reforming VET.”

“Given the urgent need to make long lasting positive improvements in VET, we urge COAG to focus first on the end goal. This is likely to be a more fruitful discussion than the more difficult one about who pays for what and what changes are needed to get there.”

The Joyce Review has repeated our call for governments, education and training providers and industry to agree on a shared vision for VET. Successful reform of VET would include:

  • Meeting the labour market skill needs in occupations that rely on vocational training
  • A return to growth in the number of government funded VET students
  • Real funding increases for vocational training in all jurisdictions
  • Improved student employment outcomes
  • Industry more strongly embedded in the advisory and governance arrangements at all levels of the VET system
  • Valuing equally VET and Higher Education and promoting jobs that require VET qualifications to students and parents as good career options
  • Increased support for apprenticeships and traineeships to address skill needs and youth unemployment

“The path to achieving these objectives is challenging; we call on COAG to take the lead from the Prime Minister and move beyond the cost and blame shifting to restore certainty and growth to VET,” Mr Pearson said.

“VET not only prepares young people for work, but also ensures Australia has the skilled workers required to build the infrastructure so badly needed in our regions and cities.

“With more than a year before the next State Election, political leaders have the clear air needed to be decisive. Australia cannot afford to let this opportunity pass us by to make meaningful change to vocational training.”

The Australian Chamber is Australia’s largest network of employers, speaking for over 300,000 businesses employing millions of Australians in every sector of the economy, in every corner of Australia. Our Small Business is a Big Deal campaign gives voice to what small businesses need from the federal government, and our Getting on with Business recommends ways to make Australia the best place in the world to do business, so that Australians have the jobs, living standards and opportunities to which they aspire.

/Public Release. View in full here.

ASQA marks Diploma of Early Childhood for scrutiny in revised VET regulatory strategy

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has released its latest regulatory strategy this morning, setting out the agency’s priorities to 2021.

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) has been identified as a key area of focus for the agency, with ASQA Chief Commissioner and CEO, Mark Paterson AO, saying the new strategy advises how regulatory activity will “remain focused on responding to the most significant risks in a sector largely made up of quality providers.”

The strategy makes specific mention of the early childhood education and care sector, noting “ongoing concerns about early childhood care and education qualifications, including training and assessment practices, poor work placement management and a lack of confidence in the job readiness of graduates.” ASQA used the statement to assert that it will “continue to monitor providers delivering CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Using key target areas and strategic initiatives, the Regulatory Strategy will continue the work identified in previous years to address key systemic challenges in the VET and CRICOS sectors, including in trainer and assessor capability, protecting Australia’s quality international education and training, and strengthening registration requirements.

The latest regulatory strategy seeks to inform providers and the broader VET community “of where we are seeing evidence of risk to our sector, and where we will subsequently apply greater regulatory focus.” Mr Patterson said.

Target area 1: Trainer and assessor capability

Trainer and assessor capability has been identified as a critical concern for the VET sector in three consecutive regulatory strategies—2016–17, 2017–18 and 2018–20.

Trainer and assessor capability continues to be raised by stakeholders as a systemic issue, ASQA said, and will remain a target area in 2019–21.

When seeking feedback in relation to this issue, stakeholders shared with ASQA issues relating to both a shortage in supply of appropriately skilled trainers and assessors, and the need to upgrade the knowledge, skills and industry currency of the current workforce.

ASQA said they will continue the work it has been doing to encourage compliance in the delivery of the TAE training package and provide guidance to providers.

Target area 2: VET in schools

In the last two decades, the number and proportion of students undertaking VET while enrolled in secondary school has increased significantly.

In recent years, the closure of several providers with large numbers of VET in schools enrolments has highlighted key risks in relation to VET delivered in schools, including:

  • the provision of accurate information to support students in making an informed decision to enrol in a VET program
  • ensuring teachers/trainers and assessors delivering the program are appropriately qualified
  • alignment between training and assessment delivery and the requirements of the relevant training package
  • availability of sufficient learning and assessment resources to support students
  • timely certification of students on completion of their training
  • adequacy of partnering arrangements.

In response, as part of the regulatory strategy, ASQA will write to the relevant education and training authorities in state and territory governments to provide advice about the risks identified through recent regulatory activity concerning VET in schools.

ASQA will also, in consultation with other regulators and all state and territory governments;

  • undertake a scoping study to further clarify the key risks associated with VET delivered in secondary schools, and understand how these risks interact with the delivery models in each jurisdiction
  • research the delivery and quality assurance of VET for secondary school students in other countries
  • analyse the findings of existing research and reviews
  • provide further advice to all state and territory Ministers with responsibilities for education and training concerning the risks identified through recent audits of RTOs delivering VET in secondary schools
  • consider whether a regulatory response and/or further work is required, including a potential strategic review into VET delivered in secondary schools.

Standards of concern

ASQA identifies the clauses in the Standards for which VET providers are most likely to be at risk of non compliance, by analysing both non-compliance identified through reports about providers and non-compliances found at audit.

In 2019, ASQA identified the following clauses of concern in the Standards for RTOs, which will be used, as part of the strategy, to assess the risk associated with individual providers,  prioritise the direction of their regulatory activities, and contribute to the information shared with providers (including in annual provider briefings):

  • 1.8 implement effective assessment systems
  • 1.1 have appropriate training and assessment strategies and practices, including amount of Train
  • 1.2 appropriate amount of training is provided, taking account of the skills, knowledge and experience of the learner and mode of delivery
  • 3.1 AQF certification is issued only where the learner has been assessed as meeting training product requirements
  • 1.3 have the resources to provide quality training and assessment – this includes sufficient trainers and assessors, learning resources, support services, equipment and facilities.

Mr Patterson highlighted misconceptions existing in the broader community in relation to ASQA imposing regulatory sanctions for minor administrative or technical non-compliance issues, saying “all of ASQA’s regulatory activity, including audits, investigations and reviews of specific training areas or products is informed by our assessment of risk that RTOs or potential RTOs represent.”

Mr Patterson emphasised that ASQA “does not conduct regulatory activity unless we have determined a potential threat to quality.”

In light of recent concerns in relation to how International students completing VET in Australia are educated, ASQA noted that work will continue to monitor the capacity of trainers and assessors, and implement the recommendations of ASQA’s recent strategic review into international education.

The strategy also sets out the second phase of the ‘Recognising and supporting quality initiative’, which seeks to improve how quality VET delivery is recognised and support providers through enhanced engagement and advice.

To review the regulatory strategy in full, please visit the ASQA website.


NDIS targeted by unscrupulous training companies

The regulator of training organisations says rapid growth in the $22 billion  NDIS has given some providers an opportunity to “mislead job seekers” by selling them qualifications they don’t actually need.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme accounted for one in every five new jobs in the last 12 months, opening a door for new business to registered training organisations, according to the Australian Skills and Quality Authority.

Chief commissioner Mark Paterson said there are no specific NDIS qualifications needed to work in the sector compared with childcare or security. Robert Peet

In its strategy report published on Monday,ASQA says some stakeholders have raised concerns about the “potential for providers to indirectly exploit students”.

Chief commissioner Mark Paterson said there are no specific minimum qualifications needed to work in the sector compared with the childcare or security industries.

But unscrupulous training organisations were trying to convince would-be NDIS workers that they had to have a qualification such as the Certificate III in Individual Support, which is required in aged care.

“In other industries there are large numbers of relatively low-paid workers in jobs where employers expect entrants to have a particular qualification.

“You might say a high-growth sector motivates willing buyers and willing sellers.”

Specialist NDIS jobs did require specific training and there was a risk that some providers might not offer the quality of training that was expected.

You might say a high-growth sector motivates willing buyers and willing sellers.

— Mark Paterson, ASQA chief commissioner

Mr Patterson is also targeting vocational training programs in schools following evidence some students were being “parked” in training classes that were clearly unsuitable.

“Schools outsource training programs to private organisations and we’re seeing increasing issues in relation to quality of training and assessment. The question is, are some of these courses going to assist students when they hit the post-school world?”

He said trainers and assessors would also be targeted over the next three years after ASQA uncovered “profound problems” with assessment, including cases where students were given the answers along with the questions.

“There is evidence of  fundamental non-compliance and failure and there are trainers who simply don’t have relevant experience or qualifications.

“We’ve processed 49,000 applications since we started in 2011 and we’ve rejected 3.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent have withdrawn their applications.

“The majority are demonstrably compliant and the numbers reflect a high-quality sector. But we are a risk-based regulator and this is where we see future problems.”

Training programs for international students were also under scrutiny,  especially over non-attendance, English-language capability and transfers between providers.

Among breaches ASQA had uncovered were training providers in China offering assessment-only courses and courses that involved no face-to-face contact at all.