Fed­eral plan aims to de­liver on skills

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Rear View -

THE Rudd Gov­ern­ment’s pledge to de­liver 450,000 ex­tra train­ing places over four years will help re­lieve the an­tic­i­pated skills short­age of over 50,000 staff per year in the re­sources and in­fra­struc­ture in­dus­tries, says Skill­sDMC.

The pol­icy will come into ef­fect next month and see $ 1.372 bil­lion in­vested into a new, in­dus­try- led sys­tem.

In­dus­try Skills Coun­cils such as Skill­sDMC will work with em­ploy­ers to as­sess what skills are needed now and in the fu­ture, and work to­gether to fill the gap with tai­lored, com­pe­tency- based train­ing.

Skill­sDMC is the na­tional in­dus­try skills coun­cil for the drilling, min­ing, quar­ry­ing and civil in­fra­struc­ture sec­tors. It was pre­vi­ously known as the Re­sources and In­fra­struc­ture In­dus­try Skills Coun­cil.

The new skills pol­icy will be the first time en­ter­prises can fo­cus on out­come, de­mand- based train­ing to specif­i­cally fill ar­eas of their busi­ness that are skillsshort,’’ says Des Caulfield, Skill­sDMC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

To­day, over half a mil­lion peo­ple work in the re­sources and in­fra­struc­ture sec­tors. How­ever, with an age­ing work­force caus­ing an an­nual at­tri­tion of ap­prox­i­mately five to six per cent and in­creas­ing global de­mand, 50,000- 60,000 ex­pe­ri­enced work­ers are needed each year.

To fill this gap, and keep up with pro­jected pro­duc­tion in­creases, train­ing is paramount and an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of a long- term so­lu­tion to the skills short­age,’’ Mr Cau­field says.

Skill­sDMC works with in­dus­try stake­hold­ers and en­ter­prises to as­sess the skilled per­son­nel com­pa­nies will need up to 10 years ahead.

Skill­sDMC’s free Fu­ture Work­force Man­ager tool helps to project th­ese needs, tak­ing into ac­count fac­tors such as com­menc­ing new op­er­a­tions, re­tir­ing em­ploy­ees, labour turnover and in­creases in mar­ket de­mand. It was de­vel­oped fol­low­ing years of re­search and con­sul­ta­tion with in­dus­try.

To make the most of the new train­ing places, or­gan­i­sa­tions need to iden­tify what their work­force needs are now and what they will be in the fu­ture.

The new gov­ern­ment pol­icy will al­low or­gan­i­sa­tions to re­source train­ing places in ar­eas of need, rather than in­dus­try try­ing to re­cruit trainees and stu­dents from VET cour­ses.

This will de­liver skilled em­ploy­ees to or­gan­i­sa­tions and greater work­force par­tic­i­pa­tion to the econ­omy,’’ Mr Caulfield adds.

Train­ing is the sim­plest, fastest and most- ef­fec­tive long- term so­lu­tion to the skills cri­sis.’’

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