Training regulator to review key sectors of the economy

Training in early childhood, security and equine programs will come under the microscope in the next round of the Australian Skills Quality Authority’s (ASQA) strategic review program.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said the reviews would examine key sectors that were vital to the Australian economy and the broader community.

Mr Robinson said ASQA’s review into early childhood development workforce training had been prompted by a December 2011 Productivity Commission report into the sector.

“The sector provides childhood education and care, child health and family support services to more than 1.5 million children nationally,” he said.

“Recent reform of the sector has had substantial implications for the more than 140,000 people employed within it, with the Productivity Commission estimating that an additional 15,000 workers are likely to be needed and the average level of workers’ qualifications also needing to increase.”

The review of training in the security industry has been prompted by ongoing community concerns about the quality and adequacy of training being offered to security guards.

“Security guards play an important role in keeping our community safe. However, they need to have the right skills and experience to ensure their safety and the safety of those they are protecting,” Mr Robinson said.

ASQA’s review of equine training follows the death of a young student in a horse riding accident in 2009. In her coronial report on the student’s tragic death, the New South Wales Deputy Coroner raised issues with the adequacy of equine training packages, policies and procedures for assessing horses to be used in training and the adequacy of trainer and assessor competencies and currency of industry experience.

Mr Robinson said management committees comprising representatives from key industry stakeholder organisations would be established to guide each review, which will be completed by the end of 2014.

Last year ASQA conducted its first three strategic reviews with examinations of aged and community care training, the construction industry white card, and marketing and advertising practices of registered training organisations (RTOs) in 2013.

“As the national regulator, ASQA is committed to maintaining world-class vocational education and training standards across Australia and these strategic reviews are an important part of our work,” Mr Robinson said.

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