Major Ministerial Announcements from the Commonwealth

Apprenticeships:
The new tender is seeking an outcome driven model not dissimilar in style to the Job Network model. The new contracts will recognise difference in metropolitan, regional and remote areas. The new tender is expected to seek new consortia with new sub-contracting concepts. The government has introduced a new IT system to support administration; they anticipate that this will reduce admin costs by 30% and tenders will be expected to recognise this. It is intended that providers will need to identify those who are not ready to become apprentices by working more closely with Job Services Network providers and move people to them. The tender will be released in October with a closing date at the end of December.

Youth Programs:
The government is trialling 2 new ‘scholarship’ arrangements in 2015. The first is for youth aged 18-24 years and will be targetted at regional and remote areas where there is high youth unemployment. The Commonwealth will provide up to $7500 for up to 26 weeks of training. The young person must be in employment.

The 2nd program is designed as a pathway for 15-18 year olds who are totally disengaged and not on welfare. Non-accredited training will be permitted and the concept is to adjust this group of recipients back into society and future learning opportunities.

ASQA:
ASQA – will now have ‘base line’ funding. That is, the agency will not be driven by cost recovery. Their focus will increasingly be on high risk providers.
ASQA is now automatically updating training providers’ scope of registration to include any new, equivalent version of a training product they are already registered to deliver.  Providers don’t have to apply to do this – it is automatic.  And, there is no fee.
The Government will put in place reforms that will remove excessive red tape for high-performing training providers. ASQA will more broadly delegate the power for training providers to make decisions about changing the scope of their registration.
Providers that have consistently demonstrated a high level of regulatory compliance will shortly be contacted and invited to apply for the delegation.

Industry Skills Council’s:
From 1st July 2015 there will be no core funding for the skills councils. It will be a contestable model and industry will be key driver of future reforms. There are several ways the Government proposes to achieve a new outcome for the development and maintenance of training packages, and the Government will release a discussion paper shortly, looking at the processes currently in place and exploring new ways for the future.

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