Latest News

More recognition for on-the-job training please

The skills shortage in Australian industry is so prominent that companies are calling on their existing employees to acquire new skills to cover shortages, according to a report from the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group).

The report, which was kick-started two years ago by the Ai Group in collaboration with the Australian government, highlights the changing nature of workplace training and makes recommendations for Government policies to support business training efforts.

A key finding within the report was that workplaces are becoming increasingly important sites of learning, with companies using their own resources or working in partnership with education and training providers, workplace trainers, facilitators, and through change management and continuous improvement processes, to keep abreast of new technologies and ensure their workers possess the appropriate skills for the jobs.

Skilling the existing workforce has become a major priority across industry, according to the report, called Skilling the Existing Workforce.

Ai Group chief executive, Heather Ridout, who supports the trend of workplace training, said: “We began this work two years ago in an economic climate characterised by sustained growth and endemic skills shortages. Two years on, this report is being released into a different and very uncertain environment; the economy is contracting and there is extreme pressure on budgets, particularly training budgets.”

According to Ridout, skills will remain central to competitiveness in the industry.

“We mustn’t repeat the mistakes of the past on training. Skills will remain central to competitiveness and it is vitally important to underpin our investment in skills so that we can survive the economic crisis and emerge to be more productive in the future,” she said.

“This makes today’s report release particularly timely.

“There is now a recognition in Government policy of the importance of continuing to encourage and support the skills development of existing workers, which is considered the most effective method of meeting skills needs. The economic crisis has also necessitated the need for the Government to take action to help companies to shore up their investment in training.”

Ridout suggests the following framework to kick-start a government program to make sure workplace training is properly-recognised:

1) Develop a Workforce Skills Development Advisory Network

2) Establish a Workforce Skills Development Fund.

3) Establish a National Workforce

4) Build Understanding and Capability in Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) of Workforce Skills Development.

5) Increase Priority for Investment in Workplace and Organisational Learning Programs.

6) Continue to Advocate and Support Flexible, Demand and Outcomes Based Funding.

The full report can be downloaded here:

Send this to a friend