The ACPET National Conference is now looming, scheduled for 27-28 August, with the APIEF plus a practitioner PD day on 26 August. With such debate and contention around both higher education and vocational education, and some very significant challenges across the sector this is a critical opportunity for the industry to come together and develop a position on the reform agenda.
As reported last week, the South Australian government’s subsidised training list, released on 22 May under the Workready program, walked away from a National Commitment to contestability and only 5000 of 51,000 new places will offer student choice.
Last week saw key industry groups, students, ACPET and our members come together in a forum with Assistant Minister Simon Birmingham to discuss the changes.
The Minister announced that the Commonwealth Government would withhold the training funds it had earmarked for South Australia under the national skills agreement until it consulted with industry and providers over the changes and reconsidered its position.
I applaud this announcement and the Minister’s preparedness to meet key stakeholders.
We of course want the training funds spent on training places in South Australia and call on the South Australian Government to meet with industry to find a solution to the chaos that is now spreading across the State.
If this is not possible, ACPET will work with the Commonwealth and Industry to develop a purchasing model that enables the $65 million allocated to South Australia for 2015/16 and 2016/17 to be directed to a contestable training market, ensuring South Australians’ have the opportunity to select the qualification and provider of their choice.
ACPET is hosting another industry forum on this issue in Adelaide this week.