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The South Australian Government has released a new skills policy for the state which intends to drive reform and investment in training over the next 10 years.

The policy, ‘Skilled. Thriving. Connected.’, outlines reforms for South Australia’s skills system to ensure the state has the skilled workforce it needs now and in the future.

Key reforms set out in the policy include:

  • a stronger focus on learner wellbeing and completions, rather than focusing solely on commencements
  • moving to a managed training system with greater government direction on where investment goes – better aligned to skills need and state priorities such as building and construction, defence, early childhood education and renewable energy
  • placing TAFE SA at the centre of the skills system to deliver on government priorities, ensure regional communities have access to training, and drive collaboration with other training providers, with a strong role for not-for-profit, industry and other non-government training providers to complement TAFE SA’s public provider role
  • having a greater emphasis on ensuring the quality and integrity of training providers and employers
  • requiring employers, unions, and industry to actively engage.

“(The policy) marks the biggest change to the skills system in South Australia in over a decade,” South Australian Education, Training and Skills Minister Blair Boyer said.

“Following extensive consultation with unions, industry, students and training providers, we have developed this policy to drive the improvements we need to skills in our state.”

Boyer said previous short-term approaches to boosting skills have not worked. As a result, the new policy outlines a long-term approach to overcoming current skills shortages.

“From signing a $2.3 billion National Skills Agreement with the Commonwealth, to investing in TAFE SA – we are leaving no stone unturned in tackling skills shortages,” Boyer said.

“(The policy) is the next crucial step in building the skilled workforce we need for the secure, well-paid jobs (the SA) Government is creating.”

In the coming months, the SA Government is expected to release the Jobs and Skills Outlook for 2024, which will outline current and emerging skills needs, and the Skills Investment Plan, which will detail how skills investment will meet the growing demands of key employment areas.