At the Jobs and Skills Summit held in September 2022, it was identified that VET qualifications and micro credentials (Skill Sets in the current system) need to be reviewed to ensure that they remain relevant to the needs of the labour market. Following the Summit, a qualification model was developed with all relevant State and Territory Ministers. The Federal Government is now seeking public feedback on the proposed model.
Over the years, the quantity of Units of Competency has dramatically risen, with over 15,000 now available. Some of these have become overly prescriptive and detailed, thus limiting their use across industry sectors, making skills less transferable, and leading to difficulties in quickly addressing workforce needs.
The proposed reform would engage the new Jobs and Skills Councils (JSC) to create a Job Profile that specifies the skills and knowledge required to do a particular job. These will be used to identify and prioritise what VET training products are required to meet skills needs. In doing so, Units of Competency would be replaced with Skill Standards. These would be industry-sector neutral, with the intention of this being to allow flexibility for better use. Another objective of the proposed reform is for foundation skills, both core and digital literacy, to be clearly and consistently expressed.
To support the Skill Standards, JSCs will also, in consultation with educators, create relevant Training and Assessment Requirements. These would be separate products that detail what a learner needs to show in order to achieve competency in a specific Skill Standard. They would be relevant to an industry requirement and, where required, there may be more than one Training and Assessment Requirement for a Skill Standard.
Qualifications and Skill Sets would continue to exist under the proposed reform, with Completion Rules, similar to current packaging rules, detailing the Skill Standards and Training and Assessment Requirements that need to be completed to be awarded the qualification or Skill Set. Completion Rules would also outline entry requirements, licensing and regulatory requirements, mapping and pathways.
To read more about the VET qualification reform model including comparisons, examples and to provide feedback, visit Understanding the proposed Qualification Model on the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations website. Feedback submission closes 5pm Friday 17th March 2023.
As well as the proposed qualification reform, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training is currently undertaking a review into the perceptions and status of Vocational Education and Training, as well as the information provided by the Commonwealth to students. The review will look at how these impact education and training choices of students, especially those who lack the required literacy and numeracy skills or experience other disadvantages, as well as employer perspectives about engagement with the VET system.
The committee wishes to hear about the information available to students regarding career paths and the journey from school, and how this can be improved.
They also wish to know about the status of the system and how this affects student enrolment choices, employer engagement, and recruitment and retention of the VET educators and how this can be improved.
Interested parties are invited to address the terms of reference by making a submission by Wednesday 1st March. How to make a submission is available on the Parliament of Australia website.