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Communiqué for the MCTEE Meeting - 18 March 2011

Ministers met in Adelaide today for the MCTEE - Industry Forum and the first business meeting of the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment for 2011. 

MCTEE Industry Forum

Ministers and industry representatives discussed the policy topic ‘Achieving sustained investment in VET’.  

The forum, hosted by Skills Australia, canvassed the issues and challenges facing Governments and Industry in providing vital investment in skills for the future.

The Chair of the Ministerial Council, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, welcomed the opportunity for the Council to discuss these issues. Senator Evans highlighted that investment in providing the highly skilled workforce necessary for the future was a shared responsibility across all Governments, industry and businesses and communities.

The South Australian Minister, the Hon Jack Snelling MP, outlined the reforms his Government is undertaking. Greg Kempton, Chair of Skills Queensland and Managing Director Watpac Ltd and Mary Thompson from McLeod Rail provided valuable employer perspectives on these issues.

All Ministers appreciated the opportunity to have open discussions with a wide range of industry representatives.

MCTEE Business Meeting

Australian Apprenticeships
The Chair of the Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Expert Panel, Mr Jim McDowell, presented the panel’s report and recommendations from the review of the Australian Apprenticeships system. The report outlines some major directions for reform in the Australian Apprenticeship system. Ministers expressed their gratitude for the work of the Expert Panel in achieving this major milestone in the review of the Australian Apprenticeships system.

Ministers agreed to work together to create a stronger Apprenticeships system to support the growing demand for a skilled workforce. Apprenticeships are important for the Australian economy and to resolving the skills shortages Australia is facing now and in the future. 

National VET Equity Advisory Council (NVEAC) Blueprint
Tiga Bayles, Chair of NVEAC, presented the Equity Blueprint to MCTEE.  Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the important work that NVEAC has been undertaking in relation to the formation of its Equity Blueprint and supported the development of a Blueprint as a mechanism for improving the participation of disadvantaged learners in education and training. 

Australian Qualifications Framework
Ministers agreed to further refinements to the Australian Qualifications Framework arising from the work on strengthening the Framework undertaken by the Australian Qualifications Framework Council.

These refinements, which follow further consultations with the University sector, enhance the Masters degree and provide for a more comprehensive Doctoral degree.

Ministers agreed to the appointment of two new members to the Australian Qualifications Framework Council, Professor Peter Hoj and Professor John Wood. 

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