CEDA Skills and Workforce Development Forum

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The CEDA Skills and Workforce Development Forum held on 14 April 2011 in Adelaide focussed on the link between skills, innovation and productivity.

Opened by the Hon Jack Snelling MP, Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education an interesting line up of speakers provided these main messages (as interpreted by Workforce BluePrint):

– Malclom Jackman, CEO Elders Ltd – move towards a high performing organisation, Go 2 client = client focussed sales, recruitment from the widest possible talent pool, challenges in managing a widespread, remote workforce

– Professor Sue Richardson, Principal Research Fellow, NILS, Flinders University – skills depth which is difficult to shift and skills breadth which is more easily transferable, stock of Human Capital = inflows/outflows, depreciation of skills

– Adrian Smith, Chair, SA Training & Skills Commission, Managing Director SYDAC – SA needs a wise investment in skills = evidence based, higher level, qualifications and skills

– Guy Roberts, Managing Director, Penrice Soda Products – moving beyond “stay in business training”, current competencies – target competencies, competency based job descriptions, graduated career ladder; value for money to adding value to creating value; change management – over educate and over communicate

– Chris Wood, Manager Corporate Human Resources and Organisational Development, Santos – huge people challenge with 80 000+ people needed by 2020, 6 years to develop employee to “autonomy”

– Tom Karmel, Managing Director, NCVER – SA against Australia has an over representation of Certificate I’s and II’s, we need higher levels of general education, shortages are about churn they aren’t structural = need for retention stratagies

A whole range of workforce development and planning gaps and issues were raised and I’d like to ask:

What is the number 1 priority for skills and workforce development in South Australia?  What about for your organisation?  What strategies could be implemented to address these issues and gaps?

For those people working on the Skills for All implementation I’d suggest we to:

– undertake a training needs analysis beyond what is on an RTO’s scope and that matches competencies with job roles and organisation capability

– make RPL opt out of not opt in to i.e. all clients/learners undertake an up front RPL process unless they choose not to

– skills development is about foundation, multi-literacies  and transferable skills (breadth) as well as industry and job specific skills (depth)

Overall, South Australia needs an evidence based approach to determining workforce demand for jobs and skills over the short and longer term (for enterprises, industries and regions) – this is the number 1 priority for me.

PS. A statewide skills stock-take would be great too!

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