New visa arrangements are already in place to limit the jobs open to skilled workers, previously employed under 457 visas. ABC News reported this week, that the Government is expected to announce a $300 million training package in the May budget, to help ensure more Australians are capable of filling those jobs.
These changes herald movement within the Turnbull government to establish their credentials, in taking action on key issues of unemployment and under-employment, especially among younger eligible workers.
Many will no-doubt be feeling a strong sense of déjà vu, but what will “an Australia-first job strategy” mean for the vocational education and training sector? Is your training institution ready for what might come your way?
Training institutions have recently experienced a turbulent time. The current news provides grounds for optimism, but whether rising or falling, continual changes in conditions and direction provide the very definition of turbulence. A strategic plan for survival and growth might be entitled “flexible scalability”.
No doubt all in the industry will be interested to see the detail. Recent history and the current environment perhaps provide an indication of what might be expected.
If I were to bet on the future shape for funding for employment training in Australia, I would be planning for a framework of evidence-based performance requirements. In the lead-up to an election cycle, words like “tough and rigorous measures,” will likely accompany new funding announcements. ASQA’s current “student experience” audit benchmarks, (previously referenced), will likely be “rigorously” implemented, supported by measures around “pathways to employment”.
An ideal operational structure will need to be agile and flexible. Able to deliver quality, with an eye on fixed cost commitments. Systems and transparency will be important. It is essential for management planning, especially in times of expansion. Transparency is also a key asset in marketing, showcasing quality experiences and outcomes. Transparency has also already been underlined as a core requirement, for industry registration and will likely be part of future funding packages.
I am not an expert in the training industry, however I am interested in the marketplace. What is your view of the road ahead?