Jason Coutts
Assistant Secretary, Foundation Skills Branch, Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE)
“The importance of foundation skills in the Australian economy.”

Jason Coutts is the Assistant Secretary of the Foundation Skills Branch of the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

In this role, he leads the team with responsibility for the foundation skills policy advice and program delivery , including the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program, the new Foundation Skills for your Future initiatives (Program and Remote Community Pilots), as well VET delivered to Secondary Students.

Prior to re-joining the Department in 2019, he led the development of the Unique Student Identifier (USI), overseeing passage of the Student Identifiers Act 2014 and rollout of the scheme to over 4000 training providers and 10 million training participants as the inaugural Student Identifiers Registrar.

Most of Jason’s career has been in and around education policy and programs with a focus on access and equity. He has held senior leadership positions in the Commonwealth Government with roles in VET, school education, Indigenous education, higher education, and international education.