National Skills Week
National Skills Week is a national event taking place during 1-8th October, an initiative of SkillsOne Television. It was conceptualised in response to constant reports of shortages of national skills across all industries.
SkillsOne CEO Brian Wexham said National Skills Week was dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning. It aimed to enable all Australians to gain a greater understanding of the opportunities and their potential and how they can contribute to a successful, modern economy.
"We understand that there are a great number of you out there who are passionate about this, and have a great desire to get involved, but are struggling to figure out exactly how," Mr Wexham said. "The idea of organising an event or activity may seem like a daunting task. We recognise that a lot of you work full time and feel that you may not have the time or resources. SkillsOne is here to help.
"The reaction generally to National Skills Week has been outstanding. There has been a high level of media interest nationally that has included print, TV and radio. All of which have offered an opportunity to draw attention and focus to the diversity and career paths provided by vocational education."
Brian Wexham, CEO of SkillsOne TV Senator Chris Evans at the National Press Club
More than 140 activities are planned nationwide, with opportunities to celebrate vocational qualifications and to showcase the achievements of practical learners, like the Australian Training Award and WorldSkills Australia winners and finalists.
Numerous activities aretaking place across the country during the week and beyond. Information on both the activities, press releases and media clippings can be found on the National Skills Website www.nationalskillsweekcom.au. To be involved contact the project coordinator, Rachel Small, on 02 8080 0111 or email@example.com
Launch of National Skills Week - National Press Club address
Senator Chris Evans, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, launched National Skills Week from the National Press Club, Canberra, on 21 September.
Senator Evans said the Skillaroos would compete in the 41st WorldSkills International Competition, better known as the Skills Olympics, which coincided with Australia’s inaugural National Skills Week. It was being held in London, where 28 Skillaroos will compete with their peers from more than 50 countries.
“The Skillaroos are real life examples of the opportunities that are available to talented apprentices and trainees in a range of different skills and trades areas,” Senator Evans said.
“The values of learning a trade as an apprentice or trainee will be highlighted during National Skills Week in an effort to encourage other Australians to take up similar life-changing opportunities.
“National Skills Week is a time to shine a spotlight on the hundreds of career opportunities and thousands of training places available for Australians of all ages.”
National Workforce and Productivity Agency
Senator Evans announced a new workforce agency to target pressure points in Australia’s patchwork economy by training and retraining workers for new jobs in growing industries and higher skilled roles. The Government would bring forward the work of the National Workforce and Productivity Agency to advise on how best to meet the continuing demand for skilled workers and support industries and workers affected by structural adjustment.
Members of an interim board include theChief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peter Anderson, and Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary, Paul Howes. They will join current members of the Board of Skills Australia, including Australian Industry Group CEO Heather Ridout and ACTU President Ged Kearney. A productivity economist will be appointed soon.
The interim board will begin on October 1, nine months ahead of the scheduled start date for the new agency in July 2012. It will focus efforts to fund training for the Australian workforce to meet the skills demands of booming industries and providing practical, targeted training to those workers directly affected by restructuring.
Senator Evans also announced Skills Connect, a range of initiatives designed to consolidate the Government’s skills programs and better target industry and worker training. Skills Connect would ensure workers are assisted to make the transition from sectors in our economy which are experiencing structural adjustment to sectors in which skilled labour is in strong demand.
It would target the needs of employers in sectors such as resources and construction which are experiencing skills shortages.
Skills Connect funding in 2011-12:
- $50 million through the National Workforce Development Fund (consolidated from the Critical Skills Investment Fund);
- $29 million through the Accelerated Apprenticeship Program;
- $15 million through the Apprenticeship Mentoring Program; and
- $15 through the Workplace English Language and Literacy Program.