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Industry skills forecast and proposed schedule of work: Education

Vocational education and training (VET) is the largest education sector in Australia, with 4.2 million enrolments in 2017 (compared to 2.2 million enrolments in primary education, the next largest sector).1 This scale of learners in the VET sector shows how much of the Australian workforce (over 20 per cent of people in Australia of working age are enrolled in VET) 2 use this training to prepare for, or progress in, their employment. The Training and Education (TAE) and Foundation Skills (FSK) Training Packages are critical elements of this training system. The TAE Training Package contains the qualifications and units that prepare trainers and assessors to deliver VET. It is therefore fundamental to providing the workforce for the sector and plays a role in the experience provided to all VET learners. The FSK Training Package specialises in supporting and preparing learners to access education and work opportunities, allowing for pathways into vocational training that would not otherwise be available. The FSK also allows foundation skills support whilst undertaking vocational or on-the-job training. Given that the VET sector provides training to potential and current workers in almost every industry in the Australian economy, the outlook for the VET sector depends on the employment and skills needs of all other industries. This can lead to a complex and uncertain outlook for the VET sector, with employment levels for vocational education teachers growing in the last year, but the Department of Jobs and Small Business forecasting a contraction in these jobs over the next five years. 3 The structural issues with the ‘one size fits all’ nature of the TAE Training Package raised by stakeholders and detailed in this report may also be contributing to this uncertainty. For example, the Education Industry Reference Committee (IRC) believes the problems in the current Certificate IV in Training and Assessment require attention to better align the content of the qualification with the job role of trainers and assessors. The Education IRC is in ongoing dialogue with the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) and with the Department of Education and Training regarding the appropriate timing and scope of a review of the TAE Training Package. Given this, and ongoing work in progress on the FSK Training Package, this Industry Skills Forec