ISC conference highlights need for workplace training

Wednesday, June 26th

A conference held on June 25 at Parliament House in Canberra saw the Australian Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) meeting with industry leaders to discuss what the future holds for vocational education and training.

The ISCs were formed in 2004 and constitute a partnership between the government and manufacturing industry.

Discussed at the conference were the skills shortages and challenges currently facing the manufacturing industry, and how vocational training could help Australia alleviate both.

It was unanimously agreed that organisations will need to make investing in workplace training a priority in the coming months and years, as this is the only way Australia’s workforce will be able to increase their productivity and stay competitive.

Sharon Bird, Minister for Skills and Higher Education, and Sussan Ley, Shadow Minister, spoke about the government and opposition’s goals concerning vocational education.

During a Q&A session, some key skill issues were revealed, including a lack of digital literacy and management skills among workers.

Spectra Training believes that better-skilled workers will help Australia to hold its own in the global marketplace.

It should also be noted that an Industry Compact was signed at the conference by a number of industry leaders and presented to the government. This establishes the industry’s commitment to training packages.

“Countries that out-skill us will out-compete us in what’s widely recognised as a global skills race,” said those who signed, who included representatives from the Australian Chamber of Commerce Industry (ACCI), Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), and Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

They said Australia needs a vocational education and training system, and that policy makers need to understand workplace training is one of the industry’s “most prized strategic assets in building a world-class workforce and securing our position in the global economy”.