VET Reform–Training Packages; The industry-training connection

As I think everyone is probably aware by now Minister MacFarlane announced the demise of the Industry Skills Councils when their contracts around the development and maintenance of Training packages ends.

As  lot of you know I have for a long time been fairy critical of at least some of the ISC’s and their work with the various training packages.  I think the the Minister is right when he says that business and industry feel as though they are left out of the development process and aren’t getting what the need or expect out of graduates of the these programs.

Now if we put aside arguments about quality of training and the like, it seems clear that there are a lot of training packages and qualifications out there that miss the mark in terms of providing employers with graduates with the skills sets that they require.  The level of flexibility to be able to provide a training program which meets the need of both and employer and the packaging rules can sometimes be difficult and graduates can sometimes be missing critical skills needed for more specialised areas of the industry.

As I I have said previously (and I am happy that the Minister seems to be thinking in the same direction) the skill sets and knowledge requirements for job roles must come from within the relevant industry, it can’t and shouldn’t be driven by training providers.  If industry provides the basis, that is the skills and knowledge that various job roles require, then it is the role of the training industry to take that information and to translate it into trainable outcomes, outcomes the ensure that graduates of the programs should everything else being equal, meet the needs and criteria of employers.   The fact that it does actually meet those needs and more than that, that it is understandable by employers needs to be firmly ascertained.  Too often employers have not been kept in the loop or simply don’t understand why training has been constructed in the way in which it as, and that is not their fault, it is ours, if industry doesn’t understand how training works, what the outcomes are and why things are how they are then that is clearly the fault of the training industry.

So for the most part I think the Minister is right, at least in theory, how it plays out in practice will of course need to be seen, there needs to be a much stronger link between industry and training, but with each party providing input into their areas of expertise.  And let’s not forget as I often say, this is Vocational Education and Training we are talking about so if the programs aren’t providing real vocational outcomes for graduates, then why are they even programs and why are they are being to delivered to students.

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About pauldrasmussen
Paul Rasmussen is one of Australia’s most widely read Vocational Education and Training Commentators. He provides deep, unbiased analysis and insights not only on topical issues, but also on the underlying structure and policy which supports the industry. His writing and analysis has been praised for its uncompromising and thought provoking style and its ability to focus on the issues of real importance to the sector. He has advised various government departments and ministers, training providers, public and private organisations, not for profits and small to medium enterprises on the VET sector and the issues and opportunities facing it. He is one of Australia’s most awarded learning professionals and a regular speaker at a range of conventions and forums. His extensive experience in vocational education, and learning and development coupled with formal qualifications in philosophy, ethics, business and education management allow Paul to provide a unique view of the road ahead and how to navigate it.

One Response to VET Reform–Training Packages; The industry-training connection

  1. Mark Jones says:

    As you say Paul, ‘time will tell’. However I do agree that the needs of industry and learners is paramount and should be driven by industry if we are to rebuild global confidence across the manufacturing, resources, and energy sectors. MJ.

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