The legislation to establish Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) has passed through the Australian Parliament, with amendments championed by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA). This marks the start of the critical task of aligning workforce training needs with the work of independent skills training and higher education providers.
“ITECA welcomes the opportunity to work with Jobs and Skills Australia on identifying current and emerging labour market and workforce skills and training issues. We must address these as the nation faces economic headwinds,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.
The legislation passed by the Parliament included amendments championed by ITECA to improve transparency in how the responsible Minister directs JSA’s work.
“Our work with the Senate cross-bench and Opposition was important. It allowed the passage of legislative amendments that created a framework in which Directives issued by the Minister concerning the activities of JSA would be tabled in the Parliament,” Mr Williams said.
With JSA to formally come into being during the coming fortnight, ITECA is looking forward to working with the Australian Government to stand-up the new agency.
“ITECA’s focus now turns to our work with the Australian Government on establishing the new agency. This includes determining the full remit of JSA, which will be set out in the second tranche of JSA legislation to be presented to the Parliament in the first half of 2023,” said Mr Williams.
ITECA’s focus will be to ensure that strategies to address skills workforce shortages best use the entire tertiary education sector’s capacity.
“Although the focus is definitely on the significant contribution that the independent skills training sector will make, our higher education members will also support the task of workforce upskilling and reskilling,” Mr Williams said.
JSA is critical to the work of independent providers that support more than 87% of the 4.3 million students in skills training and 10% of the 1.6 million students in a higher education awards program.