Macklin skills report: by a Victorian, for Victorians

As L P Hartley once did not write about federalism, “the states may as well be different countries they all do things differently there”

The Victorian Government has released the final report of the Macklin Review on skills development in the state. That’s Jenny Macklin the former federal Labor minister.

The “cornerstone recommendation’ is for a new independent body, FutureSkills Victoria, “a new platform to drive system reform and promote a new way for all parts of the system to work together, building on the collaborative spirit forged through COVID-19.”

While accountable to the minister FutureSkills, would be a, “a leader, steward and champion of the Victorian VET system,” and “coordinate collaboration across the VET system” plus “support a clear anchor role for the TAFE network.”

The report also calls on the national government to establish a system of life-long learning accounts, with contributions by workers and employers so that people can “regularly maintain and upgrade their skills.”

But while there is a great deal more on cooperation with the Commonwealth, this is a report for Victoria; “the review recommends that Victoria pursue a distinctive skills and industry policy where governments are not well aligned. For instance, the Commonwealth’s narrow focus on mining reflects its refusal to support a net zero emissions target to guide investment into the clean economy. Economists have long recognised the importance of distinctive state and regional approaches within national economies. This becomes particularly important when the policy ambitions of State and Federal governments are not well aligned.”

Training, Skills and HE minister, Gayle Tierney responded yesterday, “This is a significant body of work and the report will play a critical role shaping our efforts to ensure the education and training system delivers the skills Victoria needs.”

Ah, federalism, ain’t it grand!