The Minister for Education has announced the release of:
- the 2014 NSW Skills List which defines the qualifications eligible for government funding
- the NSW Quality Framework which will set the benchmark for quality for Smart and Skilled.
What’s actually happening in 2014-2015?
Here’s the information direct from the State Training Services website plus my analysis.
- funded training offered in line with the 2014 NSW Skills List priorities
- student fees and training provider subsidies for 2015 announced. Fee calculator released,
- applications open for training providers to deliver training under Smart and Skilled
- successful training providers offered contracts
- training providers commence enrolling students for 2015.
- 1 January – Student entitlement up to Certificate III commences under Smart and Skilled
New South Wales Skills List
The NSW Skills List covers:
- Certificate ll to Advanced Diploma qualifications
- Select Foundation Skills courses
- All apprenticeships and selected traineeships
- Part qualifications for key groups and sectors.
There are different ways to look at the list including:
- All qualifications by Training Package (including Foundation Skills and accredited courses) [pdf] – for Registered Training Organisations and those that know the qualification they are after
- All qualifications by alphabetical order (including Foundation Skills and accredited courses) [pdf] – for Registered Training Organisations and those that know the qualification they are after
- All qualifications by occupation (including Foundation Skills and accredited courses) [pdf] – presumably for enterprises, industry, career development practitioners and individuals
- Apprenticeships and Traineeships by qualification [pdf] – for Registered Training Organisations and those that know the qualification that relates to a specific Australian Apprenticeship
- Apprenticeships and Traineeships by occupation [pdf] – presumably for enterprises, industry, career development practitioners, parents and Australian Apprentices
For the list I expected priorities based upon The NSW Economic Development Framework including:
- Professional Services
- Digital Economy
- International Education and Research
- Visitor Economy – I think this is a great way to describe all that is meant for tourism, events, hospitality, sport and recreation, the arts
- Creative Industries
Additional key sectors could cover Defence, Clean Energy, Finance and Business Services, ICT, Mining, Science and Medical, Transport Logistics and Storage, and Retail. Cross sector priorities would highlight:
- Aboriginal business
- Foundation skills
- International Engagement
- Regional NSW
- Small business
What does the list hold?
Well it is a broad, varied, long list that goes beyond the priority industry sectors and information on ‘eligibility’ is very important to overlay. I fear, like other states, this list is probably too big to start off with and could get out of hand very quickly acknowledging there may be some sectors that perhaps don’t feature at all (feel free to let me know if this is you). I fundamentally disagree with a list and why is that? Well:
- Who decides what is on/off the list and what evidence underpins the list?
- Planning for future caps and ‘no new enrolments’ after a massive growth in enrolments becomes so messy
- It’s 1 dimensional and doesn’t take into account cross sector and target group priorities very well
- Occupations do not only equal one qualification (this is a ‘must know’ from my point of view)
In New South Wales there seems to be almost too many priorities and the resulting list is then not really priority focussed.
The Smart and Skills: NSW Quality Framework outlines expectations and selection criteria with 9 principles. I think the principles are useful however demand forecasting, workforce planning and development are underdone in my view.
“Eligible providers are assessed on their capacity, capability and performance…” which are useful measures however I’d add contribution, culture and overall productivity.
How could this work? Well, I’d make an RTO workforce plan a fundamental piece of evidence to assess Organisational Capacity and Capability. There is a note in the criteria on professional development on “national strategies on vocational training development” but this doesn’t go far enough.
What’s the alternative model?
Subscribe for updates into 2014 where I’ll be taking action to outline an alternative model for national, state and territory funding models based upon ‘demand’.
PS. It’s not too late for New South Wales to have an approach that reflects economic development priorities and an evidence based approach to workforce planning and development with economic, industry, regional and target group priorities.
Written by Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint, 15 December 2013.