Restructure for training board

06/02/2008 - 22:00

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Two years after the Skills Formation Taskforce released its findings on training in Western Australia, the State Training Board has put forward a plan to strengthen its training advisory bodies through a restructure and increased funding.

Two years after the Skills Formation Taskforce released its findings on training in Western Australia, the State Training Board has put forward a plan to strengthen its training advisory bodies through a restructure and increased funding.

The proposed restructure, which was recommended by the taskforce review, would reduce the number of industry training advisory bodies from 14 to eight, providing a boost to individual funding through consolidation.

The board is also seeking to increase the total funding allocated to its subsidiaries, from about $1.8 million to $2.2 million, which would enable each group to appoint a chief executive officer, field officer and administrator.

State Training Board chairman Keith Spence said extra resources would enable the advisory bodies to operate more effectively, as funding levels had been insufficient to date.

“The industry training advisory bodies are transaction and process focused at the moment. We want them to be agents of change and more strategic in their approach,” he said.

“It’s been patchy, some of them have been working well and others have not. There also hasn’t been engagement with industry.”

Central to the restructure is a plan to recruit high-level industry representatives into the advisory bodies, as well as increasing staff levels.

Mr Spence said there was a need for stronger leadership, to create better dialogue between industry and registered training organisations.

“I think the Skills Formation Taskforce and the Beyond the Resources Boom report showed industry engagement is critical,” he said.

“The interface between training providers and employers is not strong enough. We’ve got to take a more proactive role.”

Mr Spence, who is also Woodside Energy’s executive vice president of enterprise capability, said the State Training Board was consulting with industry representatives, employers and employees on the details of the restructure.

Under the current plan, the transport and storage group will combine with the automotive advisory body, while finance and business will join wholesale and retail services.

Hospitality and tourism would be amalgamated with arts, sport and recreation.

Mr Spence said the timing of the restructure was appropriate, given there was more data available on WA’s skills shortage following last year’s Beyond the Resources Boom report.

According to the report’s projections, WA is due for a shortfall of 180,000 skilled workers by 2016.

“We’ve got a suite of tools to model the system now, which enables us to gather better information,” Mr Spence said.

He said that following the restructure, the advisory bodies would be required to draft workforce development plans, with a particular emphasis on marketing their respective trades.

Mr Spence said there needed to be more emphasis on career development, and better information flow between the individual advisory bodies.

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