I’m very pleased the Newman Government has embraced the recommendations of the Skills and Training Taskforce to rationalise the TAFE system and introduce much greater contestability of funding (Government response to Skills and Training Taskforce final report):
The Government response identifies four key objectives for reforming the State’s vocational education and training sector:
- An industry engaged vocational education and training sector that has a direct line to government
- Demand driven, fully contestable funding for the delivery of skills and training to grow the capacity of Queensland’s training market and increase access to training across the state
- A new era and a strong future for TAFE Queensland
- Strengthening Queensland’s apprenticeship system to increase flexibility for users and increase completion rates.
The Government will release a detailed five year action plan for skills and training in the first half of 2013. The action plan will map out how the reforms are to be achieved.
While we need to see the detailed five year action plan to make a final judgment, this is a great start. I’m especially pleased to see the Government appears to have resisted the push to create a powerful industry-led Skills Commission that might get captured by particular industry players and inhibit the reallocation of training funding to areas where demand is going. Instead the Government has committed to “rejuvenate industry engagement arrangements”, which is much less risky.
I’ve previously posted on the Taskforce’s report: