The Victorian Government has made clear its ambitions to fuel productivity and economic growth, generate good jobs and help businesses, communities and individuals prosper across Victoria. These ambitions include the transition to a clean economy, 800,000 new homes over the next decade, investments in advanced manufacturing and regional development. The government is also committed to bringing back the State Electricity Commission (SEC) to drive down power bills and create government-owned renewable energy.
Workers with practical, portable and advanced skills are key to achieving these ambitions. They will also help the state navigate current and future economic transitions driven by the growth of knowledge-based industries, digital transformation and the increasing importance of reducing global emissions.
Our plan is clear and is underpinned by research and consultation.
We will deliver training that is high-quality, accessible and relevant to all Victorians.
This is training that creates clear pathways for learners into careers and jobs that are essential for delivering government priorities and our diverse and ever-changing economy.
The Victorian TAFE Network, supported by increased access to government-subsidised training through the government’s Skills First and Free TAFE initiatives, will support these ambitions, enabling more Victorians to up-skill and re-skill, get jobs and boost our economy.
We need to continue to work together. The Victorian Skills Plan gives us a roadmap to do this.
The government’s plan for bringing skilling solutions to Victorians and Victorian employers is proving to be right for the times. The nature of change, and the skills challenges it presents, requires careful planning based on deep and sustained engagement.
The Victorian Skills Plan offers rich employment insights to all users of our state’s skills system. It provides learners with the knowledge of what skill gaps are emerging and supports them to make better choices; training providers with information to plan their courses to match industry and community needs; and industry with the opportunity to shape the education and training of workers with the right mix of skills.
These insights and data do little if they cannot be translated into action by the education and training community or do not inspire people to take up the skilling challenge.
The plan also reinforces the rightful importance the government places on apprenticeships, and the need to support our apprentices and trainees to achieve success with initiatives such as the Apprenticeships Taskforce and the Apprentice Mental Health Training Program.
An inclusive approach to skills planning is fundamental in promoting and delivering consistency in economic opportunity and aspiring for the best for all Victorians. It will require a sense of responsibility, coordinated efforts and pragmatic collaboration by all players responsible for driving change and those affected by its outcomes – learners, industry, government, training providers and local communities.
A better integrated post-secondary education sector which includes stronger partnerships and pathways between secondary education, adult, community and further education, vocational education and training and higher education will be integral in supporting the government’s ambitions and the delivery of the mix of skills the economy needs now and into the future.
More needs to be done so that every Victorian has fair and affordable access to skilling and training. We need to ensure vulnerable, disengaged and disadvantaged Victorians are given better opportunities to get the skills they need to participate in work and life.
This year’s plan echoes our priority for a fairer future for First Nations peoples and the support offered through the Victorian training system to align with the spirit of the Treaty process.
The Victorian TAFE Network is central to the success of this plan. It leads the education and training response in our transition to a clean economy and our plan to build more homes to make housing more affordable.
The plan also recommends transformations that build a contemporary and better education and training system for all Victorians.
I thank the Victorian Skills Authority, the Victorian Skills Authority Advisory Board, the Industry Advisory Groups, vocational education and training providers including the Victorian TAFE Network, and other stakeholders and partners that provided valuable insights and perspectives on skilling to inform the development of the plan.
The skills and employment portfolio, Office of TAFE Coordination and Delivery, and Apprenticeships Victoria within the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions also contributed their expertise and will play a key role in bringing this plan and the government’s vision to life.
The Honourable Gayle Tierney MP, Minister for Skills and TAFE, Minister for Regional Development