Australian employers and industry will be placed at the heart of a new approach to the development of vocational education and training products announced by the Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, today.

“In an increasingly competitive, globalised and technologically-advanced economy, Australian industry needs skills training that meets the demands of their modern workplaces,” Senator Birmingham said.

“As the Minister responsible for vocational education and training I have placed a priority on finalising a new model for training product development, with Australian industry taking the lead, because it is employers who best know what skills and competencies they need in their current and future employees.

“This important overhaul in the way training packages and products are developed is all about responding to the needs of industry, to boost economic growth, business productivity and employment outcomes.  

“I have consulted widely with key industry stakeholders to hear their views, and in particular, considered feedback from the public discussion paper – Industry Engagement in Training Package Development – Towards a Contestable Model.

“The strengths of our current system will be retained and I will ensure there is continuity in the national training system in moving to the new approach.

“The Australian Government is committed to producing high quality training that is internationally regarded, supports industry leadership in setting training priorities and products, and is based on a system of nationally-recognised standards,” Senator Birmingham said.

The new model will also deliver contestability that ensures arrangements respond to the needs of industry, through a competitive grants process to assist Industry Reference Committees to develop and review training products appropriate for their workforce needs.

The Government will shortly invite proposals from organisations which can demonstrate industry support for them to operate as Skills Service Organisations to provide administrative support to Industry Reference Committees. 

“I expect the new arrangements will be fully operational from January 2016,” Senator Birmingham said.

For further information visit the VET Reform website at and register to receive VET reform updates on the development and implementation of the reform agenda.

Media contact: Caitlin Keage 0427 729 987