$154m digital hub provides skills model

The NSW Government has launched $154 million Digital Technology Hub for TAFE NSW, an innovation that can be adapted for the skills needs of south east Melbourne’s employers and TAFEs. 

In a model similar to that which the Greater South East Melbourne group of councils has been advocating for the GSEM region, the Sydney-based Digital Technology Centre of Excellence will offer specialist training programs that will be co-designed and co-delivered with industry, TAFEs, universities and other partners. 

On its recent submission to the Skills for Victoria Independent Review, the Greater South East Melbourne group called for greater collaboration and partnerships to ensure the region had the training and skills needed to ensure future employment. 

“A decade of policy changes to the VET [Vocational Education and Training] system … have left students, workers and employers reeling to the point where engagement with the training system for both parties is at an all-time low,” the submission said. 

“Central to … redressing the current poor state of the training system is to use a regional approach, which will effectively and positively help to rebuild the VET sector across Melbourne’s south east.  

The GSEM submission called for “action to bring together providers, industry, employees and students”. 

The Greater South East Melbourne group submission sought to: 

  • Instigate a rolling series of skills audits/needs reports for businesses across south east Melbourne. 
  • Provide a forum for engagement with public and private RTOs [Registered Training Organisations] who deliver training across the south east. 
  • Host regional reference groups that bring together businesses across various industries to discuss their training needs.

The submission to the Skills for Victoria Independent Review recommended that the effects of COVID-19 pandemic be factored into critical thinking, strategies and action. 

Bringing together teachers and industry to define what the training and education delivers students and employers will be crucial. Industry and education providers co-designing and co-delivering programs that are tailored to the current and future needs of industry and the workforce will bring benefits for workers and employers. 

The GSEM submission to the Skills for Victoria Independent Review concluded: 

Greater South East Melbourne is the ideal organisation to bring together all the relevant stakeholders and provide a forum that matches skills supply with demand at a regional level.  

The COVID 19 emergency means action to bring together providers, industry, employees and students in order that they all regain confidence in the training system is all the more urgent. We believe our recommended actions would be an important first step in this process.