Workforce of the Future – Getting the Qualifications Right

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Reforming qualifications is a key priority of the Australian Government’s reform agenda.

In this sixth event for the Workforce of the Future event series join three industry leaders from the Skills Organisation Pilots as they share their insights, discuss their approaches, and reflect on what needs to be done to simplify and improve national VET qualifications.

Australia’s future economic prosperity depends on a skilled, mobile workforce that can meet the needs of industry.  As the nature of work globally changes, qualifications need to address the changing skills needs of employers and prepare individuals for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

This live streamed event features guest panellists ,Marc Washbourne, Chief Executive Officer, Readytech,  Amanda Thomas, General Manager, HSSO and Nigel Haywood, Senior Manager, MCA.

Guest Speakers

Marc Washbourne ReadyTech - Chief Executive Officer

Marc Washbourne

Chief Executive Officer - Readytech

Board member - Digital Skills Organisation Pilot.

Marc Washbourne is ReadyTech’s CEO and co-founder of ReadyTech (ASX:RDY), overseeing its growth from early product development in 1999 to leading the ASX-listed technology company with a significant reach across education, workforce management, government and justice sectors – from Australia to a global customer base.

With over 20 years of experience in business leadership and technology, Marc heads up ReadyTech’s global team of over 300 people who are committed to supporting more than 4,400 customers. Through this work, in 2020, Marc was invited to join the board of the Federal Government’s Digital Skills Organisation (DSO) which is committed to improving digital skills and industry-ready candidates in Australia as part of the Skills Reform agenda.

Amanda Thomas HSSO General Manager – Strategy, Policy & Research

Amanda Thomas

General Manager -  Strategy Policy & Research - Human Services Skills Organisation Pilot

Amanda is an experienced executive with unparalleled knowledge of Australian and international VET systems across the entire skills pipeline.  

She recently led embedded teams at the Department of Health providing advisory, technical and project management expertise across a range of programs including the COVID-19 Aged Care Taskforce, Aged Care Royal Commission Taskforce, and the Future Care at Home Reform program. 

Amanda was also instrumental in the design, implementation and evaluation of the Australian Government’s Skills Organisation pilots, supported the Department of Health’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, and led the business transformation from Industry Skills Council to Skills Service Organisation for Transport and Logistics following Australian VET reform.   

Nigel Haywood Minerals Council of Australia (MCA)  Senior Manager - Skills  Delivery Engagement - Mining Skills Organisation Pilot

Nigel Haywood

Senior Manager -Skills - Mineral Council of Australia

Nigel has more than 30 years’ experience in vocational education and training, having worked at senior executive service levels within the State and Commonwealth Governments and occupied senior positions in the private sector. 

During his career, Nigel has had a resources sector focus and was responsible for the planning and early establishment of the Australian Centre for Resources and Energy Training (ACEPT) at Henderson, south of Fremantle in Western Australia.

Recently, his focus has been on the minerals sector through activities of the MSOP.  Nigel’s experience in VET is broad, ranging from policy and planning through to delivery point management.  Nigel has also substantial experience in industry training advisory arrangement operations at the State level, having managed the Resources Industry Training Council (RITC) in Western Australia.

Nigel has also worked in the private sector having led an employer organisation in Western Australia that was also a Registered Training Organisation.  From 2008 to 2011 Nigel also lived in China and was engaged with Australian businesses seeking to enter the Chinese market.

Moderator  - Catherine McGrath

Catherine McGrath


Catherine McGrath is a policy, engagement, and advocacy expert and in-demand facilitator. She is a giant of the Australian media and the founder of the Business Speaking training program that support and train professional speakers across the country. Catherine also provides media training to leaders and executives in the private sector and Government agencies.

During three decades of reporting, Catherine was political editor for both the ABC and SBS television and was the ABC’s South East Asia Correspondent based in Singapore. Catherine is a recipient of the Centenary of Federation Medal for Services to Society through Journalism and the ABC Reuters Foundation Scholarship to study international affairs at Oxford University.