VET ideas lost in the budget space

The government released Steven Joyce’s review on budget day

This struck CMM as strange – whatever policy grinds reveal,  this is substantial thinking.

The former New Zealand minister for tertiary education and skills presents 71 recommendations set out in six broad points; strengthening quality assurance, faster qualification development, simpler matching of funding to skills, better careers information, clearer school pathways and improved access for disadvantaged people.

He also sets out steps the Commonwealth can take now and details a mass more that Canberra and the states will need to combine on.

What the feds can do now

* improve quality assurance and strengthen the Australian Skills Quality Authority

* pilot “business-led” qualification development

* establish a National Skills Commission, “to develop a new nationally-consistent funding model based on a shared understanding of skills needs.” There is $130m for this in the Budget

* simplified apprenticeship incentives to appeal to employers and prospective apprentices

* create a national careers institute, “a single, authoritative government source of careers information”

* skills development for “second chance” learners

The reviews aren’t in from the VET policy community, but it seems unlikely that much will be done on Mr Joyce’s recommendations this side of the election.  After that who knows – at worse for Mr Joyce’s work, if Labor wins the report will go in the consideration-mix for the party’s proposed comprehensive post-secondary review. Especially the skills commission, which seems on the same lines as the independent post-compulsory education authority talked up around the traps.


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