New industry and skills committee to strengthen VET

A new industry and skills committee has been estab­lished to provide effective industry leadership to the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia.


The announcement coin­cides with the COAG In­dustry and Skills Commit­tee meeting being held in Melbourne recently.


Assistant Minister for Ed­ucation and Training, Sena­tor Simon Birmingham, an­nounced the composition of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee ahead of the meeting with state and territory Ministers.


“My state and territory Ministerial colleagues and I have committed to a VET reform agenda that im­proves the quality of voca­tional education, cuts red tape, makes training more relevant to employer needs, and encourages more peo­ple to undertake apprentice­ships or training in areas of skills shortage,” Senator Birmingham said.


“Establishing the Australi­an Industry and Skills Com­mittee will greatly assist the Government in delivering on these reforms.


“This Committee replaces a complex framework of 13 different committees and advisory bodies, simplify­ing governance of the vo­cational education sector and, importantly, putting industry at the centre of the system.


“This will ensure that em­ployers are central to the advice provided to govern­ments on strategies to lift the quality and relevance of training needed across the Australian economy.


“The industry-led body will also play the critical role of overseeing qualifi­cations and training prod­uct development – ensur­ing the system is focused squarely on industry needs and that Australian work­ers are highly skilled and job-ready.


“To lead the Committee I have appointed John Pol­laers as the Chair.


“As current Chair of the Australian Advanced Man­ufacturing Council and with extensive industry experience, including as previous Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Brands Limited and Foster’s Group Limited, John is well placed to lead this key part of the VET system and I very much welcome his involvement,” Senator Birmingham said.


In accepting the appoint­ment, Mr Pollaers said, “As Chair of the Com­mittee I look forward to working closely with gov­ernment, education and industry leaders across all states and territories to en­sure that Australian indus­try has access to a highly skilled and globally com­petitive workforce. Our economic future rests in their hands.”


Senator Birmingham said that under John Pollaers’ guidance, the Commit­tee will comprise twelve members from industry, including a member nomi­nated by each state and ter­ritory.


The Committee will also have one industry peak body representative rotating annually. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has nominated the first member while the Busi­ness Council of Australia and the Australian Indus­try Group will participate in future rotations.


Members are as follows:

· Mr John Pollaers (Chair)

· Mr Mick McMahon (Commonwealth)

· Ms Tara Diamond (Commonwealth VET Ad­visory Board member)

· Ms Patricia Neden (VIC)

· Mr Brett Schimming (QLD)

· Mr Adrian Smith (SA)

· Mr Ian Hill (WA)

· Mr Darren Mathewson (TAS)

· Mr Andrew Bruyn AM (NT)

· Ms Michelle Mel­bourne (ACT)

· Ms Jenny Lambert (Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).


In addition, New South Wales will nominate a member to join the Com­mittee.


Brief biographies for members of the Commit­tee can be viewed via – au/node/37817


Two ex-officio members, who are senior govern­ment officials, will support the Industry Committee members.


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