Win for unis: they’re on the Jobs and Skills call list

Universities are within the scope of the new planning agency under amendments to the establishing bill passed in the Senate

The initial text of the bill stated JSA, “where appropriate” “must consult and work with “employers, unions, training providers and other industry stakeholders, and other persons or bodies with an interest in the labour market, workforce skills or workforce training needs.”

However Senator Pocock (Independent – ACT) successfully moved an amendment to add universities to the list.

This cheers up Universities Australia no end. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the government to ensure universities have the policy settings they need to continue building Australia’s future,” CEO Catriona Jackson reports.

It’s an improvement for UA on the original bill, which made no mention of universities at all and referred to higher education in relation to VET.

And the Senate committee report on the bill only noted the Group of Eight’s call for universities to be formally recognised in JSA’s functions and the Australian Technology Network’s suggestion that the agency cover everything post school (CMM September 9).

Of course, “where appropriate” gives a JSA less wriggle than evade room but at least unis are mentioned.