The 2023 JSA Annual Jobs And Skills Report highlights the need for student-centred reform of the skills training and higher education sectors, according to the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA).
The peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers said Australia to improve access to both skills training and higher education.
ITECA Chief Executive Officer Troy Williams said that to achieve this goal, governments will need a policy construct that is based upon the complementarity of independent and public providers in skills training and higher education sectors.
Williams said: “Students need to be at the heart of the skills training and higher education systems.
“To address the challenges identified by Jobs and Skills Australia, governments need to empower students to study with the provider of their choice, one that’s able to help them achieve their life and career goals.
“Sometimes this will be a quality independent provider and sometimes it will be a public one.”
ITECA endorses the position set out in the JSA report that Australia’s workforce needed to be supported by a lifelong learning system that enables them to continually develop their skills.
Independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) support 89.4 percent of the 4.5 million students in skills training and around 10 percent of the 1.6 million students in higher education.
Williams said independent tertiary education providers would do the heavy lifting in supporting lifelong learning.
“When it comes to increasing workforce productivity, achieving sustainable real wage growth, and sustainable economic growth the key will be workforce reskilling and upskilling.
“Here, it is independent skills training and higher education providers that do the heavy lifting.”