Capable people make clever business
On 8th May 2015, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, the then Assistant Minister for Education and Training announced a number of reforms within the vocational education and training (VET) sector to ‘improve the quality of vocational education’ and to ‘lift the quality and relevance of training needed across the Australian economy’.
In supporting this direction, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) was established, to provide industry leadership to the VET sector. Chaired by John Pollaers, this ‘industry-led body will oversee qualifications and training product development – ensuring the system is focused on industry needs and that Australian workers are highly skilled and job-ready.’ Read the full media release here.
As a part of the new system, which came into effect on 1 January 2016, previous Industry Skills Councils have been replaced by Skills Service Organisations (SSOs). SkillsIQ is a newly formed organisation that has taken on the role of an SSO operating within the new system for training product development in Australia.
This new system puts industry at the centre of training product development, including the development and maintenance of training packages, by way of Industry Reference Committees (IRCs). The committees are made up of people with experience, skills and knowledge of their industry sector and may be individuals or representatives of businesses or organisations. The IRCs operate as committees of the AISC and the AISC will oversight membership of the IRCs going forward. In the first instance, the current advisory committees of the former Industry Skills Councils will transition to form the IRCs.
IRC roles include gathering industry intelligence to inform training product development, directing the SSO in developing business cases to request the commissioning of training package development work to meet the skills needs of industry. IRCs also have responsibility for overseeing development and review of training packages, preparation of cases for endorsement and providing sign off on completed training packages, prior to submission to the AISC for endorsement.
SSOs exist to provide secretariat services for their allocated IRCs, including facilitating engagement and consultation across industry, providing operational and secretariat support, carrying out the development and review of training packages, managing quality assurance and endorsement processes and preparing support materials such as companion volumes.
SSOs remain independent from both industry and the training sector and are managed by a professional board. Decisions about training package content remain the responsibility of the IRCs.
Training product development will be commissioned by the AISC according to a national schedule and based on both industry and Government priorities. Once training product work is commissioned to an SSO and a work order provided, the SSO will work with the IRC and industry to develop the training products in line with the business case prepared by the IRC. The AISC has responsibility for endorsing training packages following IRC approval and submission of the revised training package by the SSO.
The formation of SkillsIQ has been supported by Service Skills Australia and Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council. SkillsIQ is not a merger of these organisations, it is a new not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, which will work to support training package development with a range of Industry Reference Committees allocated by the AISC.
Service Skills Australia and Community Services and Health Industry Skills Councils no longer have responsibility for training packages and are in the process of ceasing operations and expect to be closed by the end of the financial year.
The support for the formation of SkillsIQ arose out of a desire by the community services and health sector and the services sector to create an independent facilitator and broker to support a critical and significant part of the Australian economy.
SkillsIQ objectives include facilitating IRCs to advise the Australian Government via the AISC, on positioning Australia to respond to additional demands for services as our population ages and to capitalise on synergies across the services sector to increase career pathways and mobility and recruitment of young people.
SkillsIQ has an independent Chair, The Hon. Dean Brown AO, former Premier of South Australia.
The Chief Executive Officer is Yasmin King, previously Chief Executive of Service Skills Australia and former inaugural NSW Small Business Commissioner.
The Hon Dean Brown AO is a former Premier of South Australia. He was in Parliament for 27 years and held numerous Ministerial Portfolios.
Dean’s education and background is in agricultural research and management. His qualifications include a Master of Rural Science from the University of New England, a Post-graduate Fellowship Diploma in Business Administration from the University of South Australia and a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from the University of New England.
He is Chairman of Hillgrove Resources Ltd. and the not-for–profit Playford Memorial Trust (which offers numerous scholarships for higher education), and a Director of Scantech Ltd., Mission Australia Board, and Foodbanks SA. He chairs strategy committees for various private companies. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dean takes a particular interest in innovation, energy efficiency, training and corporate governance.
Yasmin is CEO of SkillsIQ. Formerly CEO of Service Skills Australia since July 2014, Yasmin was responsible for the development of innovative new approaches to pilot new and emerging qualification needs in the Retail Sector through the New Retail Series. During the VET reform process, she led the successful proposal to establish SkillsIQ, a new Skills Service Organisation responsible for supporting training product development identified by Industry Reference Committees in the community services and health sectors, the services sectors and some areas of government. She is an experienced negotiator and mediator, having led major commercial and corporate negotiations as a negotiation consultant and coach. Combined with her previous experience as the inaugural NSW Small Business Commissioner and the first Associate Commissioner for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission appointed with responsibility for small business, Yasmin has a deep understanding of the challenges that face the stakeholders in the sectors supported by SkillsIQ.
Yasmin holds a Masters of Business Administration and an Honours degree in Economics. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow Certified Practicing Accountant and member of the Resolution Institute.
Previously existing Industry Reference Groups and Industry Advisory Committees will transition to the new arrangements for training package development. SkillsIQ will be servicing the following Allocated Industry Reference Committees (IRCs):
As announced by The Hon. Luke Hartsuyker MP, Minister for Vocational Education and Skills on 27 January 2016, these IRCs will ‘be responsible for the development of training packages that reflect the needs and priorities of employers’. Read the full media release here.
SkillsIQ is funded by the Department of Education and Training to support our Allocated IRCs, which are responsible for the development and maintenance of training packages in the following sectors: