Expressions of interest are being invited from organisations to operate as skills service organisations as part of an overhaul of Australian qualifications.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said that skills service organisations will play a crucial role in ensuring training delivers the competencies that jobs will require in the future.

“The Abbott Government is introducing a new model of training product development to ensure that training standards are based on the skills needed for real jobs in the Australian workplace of both today and tomorrow,” Senator Birmingham said.

“As employers of current and future workers, industry is best placed to decide the skills levels needed in the workplace, and when and how training packages are developed and updated.

“Skills service organisations will play an important, but supporting, role by enabling industry reference committees to adequately consult and decide on training product requirements for their relevant sector.”

From 1 January 2016, skills service organisations will be independent bodies funded by the Australian Government to support industry reference committees to review and develop training products for the vocational education and training (VET) system. New arrangements have been put in place to ensure a smooth transition from current Industry Skills Councils to skills service organisations.

Senator Birmingham said the new Australian Industry and Skills Committee, chaired by Mr John Pollaers, would schedule and commission skills service organisations to undertake work based upon the advice of industry reference committees.

“Widespread consultations about the way training products are currently developed and delivered supported the key role of industry leadership and raised concerns about training packages being changed ‘for change’s sake’, rather than in response to industry priorities,” Senator Birmingham said.

“The Australian Government’s new model will ensure resources are allocated to develop and renew training products based on in-depth analysis of Australia’s workforce skills demands and industry needs.”

Mr Pollaers said an immediate priority for the Australian Industry and Skills Committee was to engage with existing industry reference committees and to establish working relationships with the skills service organisations, once operating, to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements.

“Industry representatives from all states and territories are members of the Committee and we will be working closely with industry leaders and workplace representatives across all sectors to ensure Australian industry has access to a highly skilled workforce,” Mr Pollaers said.

Online Expression of Interest applications can be lodged from 27 July 2015 and will close on 24 August 2015.

The Department of Education and Training will conduct a number of information sessions for potential applicants. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to register and attend a session.

To register visit –

Media contact: Caitlin Keage 0427 729 987