Vocational overhaul encouraged for machinery repair workforce

The Productivity Commission’s final report into Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector has called for serious overhaul around its confusing and underperforming aspects.

The Commission found that the multi-billion-dollar sector’s funding agreement between the Commonwealth and the states needed major change with lack of transparency, targets not met and poor accountability for monetary allocations.

Rod Camm, Group CEO for the Motor Trades Association of Queensland said, “This report creates an important evidence base for the reform road ahead.

“There remains enormous skill shortages across the automotive industry, so it is critical that apprentices and those seeking upskilling are able to access training solutions suitable for their work.

“Many of the current structures of the VET sector have had their day. Australia needs a system that keeps pace with the rapidly changing skill demands of industry.

“To remain internationally competitive, the fundamental building blocks of reform need to include genuine industry engagement, targeting of funding to industry and job needs, a qualification system that keeps pace through recognising stackable micro-credentials and nationally consistent pricing and contractual terms.

“Incentivising and supporting employers to take on apprentices will also create real jobs post government support programs.”

MTA Institute General Manager, Paul Kulpa said, “As an independent industry based automotive training provider, we are encouraged by the recommendations to better link funding to high demand job areas that have high growth potential.

“Like the need for specialist technicians to service and repair hydrogen and electric powered vehicles.

“While encouraged by the logic of market approaches to the allocation of funding, the current system is too complex at all levels to truly enable informed choice.

“A balanced approach needs to include informed student choice, quality and oversight of performance.” Paul Kulpa concluded.

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