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Ebony O’Doherty-Bowman, electrical apprentice with Powercor Australia and trainer Ray Borowiak at Australia’s first wind turbine training tower at Ballarat’s Federation University, where wind turbine technicians can train instead of using fly-in-fly-out workers.

Over the next three years, we will:

  • Work with DET, to support reskilling and upskilling in priority areas through the Funded Skill Set List.
  • Offer support across the Victorian Government on ways to facilitate formal recognition of micro-credentials if required for new areas of learning.
  • Support partnerships between industry and training providers to develop new skill sets through the Workforce Skill Set Fund.
  • Provide advice to learners on the link between skill sets, employment and full qualifications through upfront advice and outreach.

While many workers are benefiting from the rapidly changing Victorian economy and moving into higher paid or more secure jobs, others will need new skills to get the job they want.

Skill sets and micro-credentials developed with industry will play an increasing role in helping employers to get the skills into their workforces to meet urgent needs. They also provide the avenue for workers and job seekers to reskill or upskill for new work opportunities.

They also play a complementary role to full qualifications, helping people to top-up their existing skills in a time-efficient and targeted way that meets immediate workforce needs.

Industry, unions and learners told the VSA:

  • Full qualifications remain important for providing a solid grounding in fundamentals of the industry and the suite of skills and knowledge to be an effective worker.
  • However, new processes, technologies and ways of working mean that, over time, people’s skills can be outdated or no longer needed.
  • Skill sets and accredited micro-credentials can support worker mobility and career progression while also ensuring industry can rapidly adapt to innovate and grow.
  • These shorter forms of recognised learning can be delivered in a way and form that suits the time available to the learner.

Skill sets and micro-credentials can therefore be used for upskilling and reskilling workers, and in some selected cases entry to an occupation.

Every effort should be made for micro-credentials to be accredited forms of learning and training. This helps employers recognise the learning and that it is backed by the quality assurance processes of government. The learner is also able to use the credit to build on further learning.

At times however, short forms of unaccredited learning needs to be deployed by the Government or by Victorian industries for important initiatives. The VSA can work with sponsors of this learning to feed into formal accreditation, if this is needed. This brings longer term benefits to the industry, can lift a person’s commitment to the industry and to ongoing learning.

While frequent episodes of short form learning may be seen as necessary by many, there is the risk that those who are new to learning or find it difficult may not participate and risk falling behind in job opportunities. These people would benefit from structured advice about skill sets and micro-credentials and their relationship to qualifications that help them get a good job.

Case study

Reskilling for justice

After starting his career as a carpenter, proud Bangerang man Matthew Atkinson forged a path into justice so he could provide direct support and services to the Aboriginal community.

Working as a Koorie Case Manager, Matthew thought he was well equipped for the job but decided to undertake a Certificate IV in Community Services with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association (VACSAL).

Each Wednesday, Matthew travelled from his home in Shepparton to Melbourne to study at VACSAL, which is a registered training organisation (RTO) under the Learn Local umbrella.

“Being able to study at an Aboriginal organisation that has an Aboriginal curriculum, I found there was a lot that I didn’t know and a lot to learn,” Matthew said. “So I am now putting that knowledge into how I case manage my community. It was the best course I’ve ever done.”

Today Matthew works as Koorie Case Manager at Shepparton Magistrates Court, is Chair of the Shepparton Local Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, and is passionate about equity and reducing the detrimental impacts of family violence.

Reviewed 06 September 2022

Victorian Skills Plan for 2022 into 2023

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