Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (17:58): My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Training and Skills, Minister Gayle Tierney. The action I seek is for the minister to provide some information about the new Victorian Skills Authority. The minister made a very exciting announcement today, an investment of over $380 million for the TAFE and training system in this month’s budget, and at the heart of this announcement was a stronger collaboration with unions, industry and the government in the TAFE and training system. The new Victorian Skills Authority will mark a new era: one where all stakeholders come together to make sure we have a training system that has the best alignment to jobs, one where the very best data is used to ensure that labour market demand is met. Stakeholders have been calling for this new body for a long time, and the Macklin review recommended this new body. We are a government that listens and acts, and this announcement is a testament to that. I thank Minister Tierney for her outstanding leadership. The TAFE and training system is better for the contribution of the minister—just look at the successful free TAFE initiative. I would value the minister providing an update on how this new approach will benefit students and the Victorian economy.
Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (08 June 2021):
Even before COVID-19, jobs in Victoria were changing evolving rapidly. Now, as we recover and seek to take advantage of new opportunities, it is imperative that we reset our approach to skills and training.
That is why the Victorian Government is investing $86 million to establish the Victorian Skills Authority. The Authority will forge strong, active connections across the sector to better understand, plan and respond to Victoria’s dynamic needs.
We know, from listening to all those involved, that a more streamlined, responsive and coordinated approach to skills and training is necessary to meet current and anticipated challenges and opportunities. The Skills for Victoria’s Growing Economy, Review led by the Hon Jenny Macklin, has reinforced this.
A core part of the Victorian Skills Authority’s work will be bringing people together to build a comprehensive annual Victorian Skills Plan. This plan will be based on thorough, ongoing analysis of data and evidence, as well as local insights from employers, workers, unions, community groups and people with direct experience of our vocational education and training (VET) system.
The Authority will also help to generate local solutions for local problems, promote quality improvement, and identify Victorian skills development needs.
It will connect all parts of post-secondary education and training, including adult and community education providers and VET offered through TAFEs, dual-sector universities and registered training providers.
The Victorian Skills Authority will be formally established in July 2021 and the first Victorian Skills Plan will be released in 2022.