Ministers for the Department of Industry and Science
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VET reform vital to Competitiveness Agenda

14 October 2014

The Australian Government will continue its comprehensive, industry-focussed reforms in the skills and training sector as it implements the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

The Competitiveness Agenda is a significant step towards positioning Australian industry to secure its competitive standing in the global economy.

A skilled, job-ready workforce with the sophisticated range of skills needed to capitalise on existing and new opportunities will be essential.

Vital to enhancing our productivity and increasing our competitiveness is the introduction of the next wave of Vocational Education and Training reform, to ensure that Australia’s VET system is able to provide skills for jobs of the future.

The future of Australia’s productivity relies on business-relevant, high quality education and training.

Australian businesses must have access to the skilled workforce they need to remain innovative and internationally competitive.

The Australian Government has taken action to create a stronger economy and boost our productivity and competitiveness by reforming Australia’s VET system with a renewed focus on outcomes – not training for training’s sake.

Reforms in the VET sector will provide real industry leadership, less red tape for providers and more targeted and demand driven funding.

The Australian Government is investing $200 million in the new Australian Apprenticeship Support Network from 1 July 2015 to boost apprentice retention, completion and satisfaction rates.

We have announced two pilot programmes - Training for Employment Scholarships and Youth Employment Pathways - to extend the opportunities for acquiring a skill to more young Australians, in particular those in rural and remote Australia and the $1.9 billion Trade Support Loans programme is already supporting Australian apprentices learning their trade.

High-performing training providers will also have the freedom to get on with delivering the high calibre training that meets industry needs as a result of the Government’s changes to the way the regulator ASQA operates, which will cut excessive red tape.

The package of reforms will ensure Australia’s skills and training system is industry-led and industry-relevant to build a skilled and job-ready workforce.

Further details are available on the VET reform website www.vetreform.industry.gov.au.

Media contact: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070