Skills reform priorities

The Australian, state and territory governments have committed to work collaboratively on long-term improvements to the VET sector through a new National Skills Agreement by August 2021.

The Australian Government’s priorities for the new arrangements are:

  • Adopting a new funding model which improves funding consistency for students and integrates subsidies and loans with efficient pricing and the skills needed by employers as informed by the National Skills Commission.
  • Achieving greater consistency for fees and subsidies, based on efficient prices and analysis of the public and private benefits of VET courses, to simplify the system and improve fairness and consistency.
  • Increasing VET investment and supporting a viable and robust VET market that ensures quality and student choice.
  • Enhancing transparency and accountability, through clear roles and responsibilities for governments and industry, and improving the timeliness and quality of data collection.
  • Increasing access to Foundation Skills to promote life-long learning and ensure more Australians have the skills to take on employment.
  • Embedding micro-credentials in the training system by funding a reasonable mix of short courses and full qualifications.
  • Harmonising and modernising apprenticeships to improve labour mobility and make it easier for business to take on an apprentice, knowing their training is fit for purpose.
  • Improving the quality of VET in schools, including the development and implementation of a National VET in Schools Strategy.
  • Promoting and supporting the National Careers Institute as the primary vehicle for careers information.

The new National Skills Agreement is due to be finalised by August 2021, with a transition period commencing from 1 January 2022.