Skills Organisations update - December 2020


Welcome to the second update from the Skills Organisations, an initiative of the Australian Government to strengthen the role of industry in the vocational education and training (VET) sector. Since our last update two Skills Organisation Pilots have appointed Chief Executive Officers, we have held two engaging national live-streamed panel events, and announced a range of new and exciting initiatives for our pilots. Read on to keep up with the latest news and developments.

Digital Skills Organisation

The Digital Skills Organisation (DSO) has appointed Patrick Kidd OBE OAM as its new Chief Executive Officer. Patrick brings substantial experience in training and digital transformation. In his previous role, he worked in support of Infosys as the Programme Director implementing a largescale digital transformation program into the Federal Government.

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The winners of DSO’s first pilot project, to train and employ 100 data analysts, have been announced. As part of the Train 100 Data Analysts Project a number of bidders participated in a competitive pitch process, to produce a range of innovative training solutions to rapidly train 100 new data analysts. Online learning provider, General Assembly, Indigenous ICT training provider, Goanna Education, and TAFE Queensland, will each receive funding from the DSO to train and employ data analysts. Find out more on the DSO website.

Members of the DSO along with industry experts recently participated in a one-hour live streamed event that looked at the digital skills and training employers and learners will need for the jobs of the future. The Workforce of the Future: Focus on Digital video can be found on the Skills Organisation website.

Human Services Skills Organisation

The Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) has appointed Jodi Schmidt as its CEO to lead the organisation as it implements its vision of ensuring that Australia will be equipped with a diverse, skilled and adaptable workforce that meets Australia’s human services needs both now and into the future. An experienced CEO, Jodi has more than 15 years of experience in the VET sector including serving as the Deputy Director-General, Training and Employment with the Queensland Government, and then as the inaugural CEO of TAFE Queensland.

HSSO is continuing to work with employers and registered training organisation to support the testing and delivery of the entry into care roles skill set. The HSSO is partnering with the Brotherhood of St Laurence to trial the pathway skill set in key districts in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. New online training and assessment materials have been developed for use by training providers.
For more information about the online training contact

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The HSSO are progressing the development of a bespoke mental health and wellbeing training product to support workers in aged care and disability support. The training has been developed in response to the increased stresses and pressures experienced by workers in these sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mining Skills Organisation Pilot

On 25 November 2020, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash and Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, The Hon Steve Irons MP announced the Mining Skills Organisation Pilot’s (MSOP) three new skills project hubs to support better, faster training for the mining sector.

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The hubs focus on improving the quality and applicability of skills development for the mining sector. Centred on three project hubs covering apprenticeships, digital transformation, and attraction and retention, the MSOP will specifically test key elements of the current VET system with a view to achieving necessary reforms for the benefit of industry, individual and participating organisations.

The MSOP and industry leaders recently participated in a live streamed event which explored the skills, training and future employment opportunities ahead in the mining sector. You can view the video from the event on the Skills Organisation website.

Reforming the System

Australia’s VET system drives the skilled workforce that will support our economy to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic. A strong VET sector is crucial for ensuring Australia has a highly skilled workforce and businesses have the skilled workers they need.

Recognising the importance of a high quality VET system that works well for everyone, Australian governments (both at the national and state and territory level) have agreed to immediately move ahead reforms in the following key areas:

  • Strengthening the role of industry and employers
  • Improving VET qualifications
  • Raising the quality of training

This week, a new engagement hub was launched, Skills Reform Consultation, providing information and opportunities for you keep up to date and share your views on the three reform areas.

  • The first discussion paper on industry engagement and qualification reform is live now for you to consider and submit responses through the online submission form.
  • A pulse survey on qualification reform is live, seeking your views on qualification design elements and objectives

Two papers and two surveys on quality reform are published on the engagement hub, with further surveys to follow shortly.

Stay informed and find out about new opportunities to have your say by registering on the Skills Reform website.