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John Pollaers to head new Australian Industry and Skills Committee

Australian Financial Review   |   11 May 2015

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Former Fosters and Pacific Brands CEO John Pollaers has been appointed chair of the federal government’s Australian Industry and Skills Committee designed to put employers in charge of choosing which vocational qualifications are funded by government training packages..

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Assistant Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said the new body will “put industry at the centre of the system”.

Pollaers will head a 12-member body of industry representatives, including one nominated by each state and territory government, and a rotating member from the three main business groups, the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Industry Group.

The new committee is part of the government’s new model for training package development which will end the role of the 12 industry skills councils funded by government and replace them with a contestable system. Mr Pollaers’ committee will sit above a new structure of industry reference groups – which will advise on the training qualification needs for each industry sector – backed by skills service organisations to provide administrative support.

 Unions, which are currently represented on industry skills councils, fear they will be frozen out of the new system.

 Pollaers said he looked forward to “working closely with government, education, and industry leaders across all states and territories to ensure that Australian industry has access to a highly skilled and competitive workforce”.

Birmingham said the new committee would replace “a complex framework” of 14 different committees and advisory bodies and simplify governance of vocational education and training.

See
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