Skills Commonwealth-State Relations

About the Skills and Workforce Ministerial Council (SWMC)

The Skills and Workforce Ministerial Council consists of portfolio ministers with responsibility for skills and training in their jurisdiction, including the Commonwealth Minister for Skills and Training as the Chair.

It provides a forum for national cooperation and stewardship across the vocational education and training (VET) system and on the intersection of skills and training policy with workforce issues.

The Council collaboratively progresses items of national importance within the portfolio to achieve agreed objectives, outcomes and priorities, including those set out in the National Skills Agreement.

Skills Ministers’ considerations are informed by data and evidence, and input from partners and experts, including First Nations peoples, key VET bodies and across portfolios.

SWMC reports to National Cabinet on their progress to deliver tasked priorities, in addition to reporting annually on delivery of its workplan.

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Background of SWMC

Following a review of the Ministerial Councils in 2022 by National Cabinet, Skills Ministers’ Meeting (SMM) was renamed to the Skills and Workforce Ministerial Council (SWMC) in 2023. A direct reporting line to the National Cabinet was established on a key priority within an updated Federal Relations Architecture relating to skills reform and negotiation of a new National Skills Agreement.

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Outcomes of the SWMC

SWMC meetings are held at least quarterly. Outcomes of SWMC meetings are detailed via a communique following each meeting.

Work priorities for SWMC

In 2024, SWMC will be focussed on skills reform including:

  • Embedding stewardship model to deliver national priorities
  • TAFE at the heart of the VET sector
  • Delivery of key initiatives and reforms
  • Oversight of the national training system
  • First Nations Engagement and Closing the Gap
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