The Australian Government today announced reforms to the agency responsible for regulating the vocational education and training sector, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the reforms respond to key recommendations of the Braithwaite and Joyce Reviews, including supporting ASQA to expand its scope to adopt a more educative approach to lift quality in the delivery of vocational education and training (VET).
“Improving the quality of VET is a priority of the Australian Government, and this includes ensuring the sector’s regulatory environment is reasonable, transparent and effective,” Minister Cash said.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, Steve Irons MP, said the Government has set a strong direction for the future of VET.
“With appropriate regulatory reforms, we can deliver a vocational education sector that provides workforce skills and relevant up-to-date qualifications that are well-matched to the evolving opportunities of Australia’s modern economy.”
As the national regulator for Australia’s VET sector, ASQA regulates training providers to ensure they meet nationally approved quality standards.
“I am keen to ensure that training organisations are well placed to understand their requirements and that the regulator has the right tools and information to regulate them effectively,” Minister Cash said.
Earlier, in August, Mr. Andrew Laming, member of the Australian House of Representatives representing Bowman, QLD had criticised ASQA in a hard-hitting speech in the Australian Parliament.
Mr Laming’s speech highlighted how many quality RTO’s face the wrath of ASQA for compliance issues that have little to no outcome on the provision of quality providing of training to students.
As part of these changes Mark Paterson AO, the Chief Commissioner of ASQA, has decided the proposed shift in direction for ASQA provides an appropriate time for him to step down and pass responsibility for managing the next phase of ASQA’s evolution to others,” Minister Cash said.
ASQA Commissioner Saxon Rice will act in the role of Chief Commissioner as of 7 October 2019.