The National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development (NASWD) was agreed by the Australian, State and Territory governments in 2009 and updated in 2012. The NASWD sets out goals for skills attainment by Australians through the vocational education and training (VET) system and commitments to reforms to ensure that the system is accessible, produces high quality services and operates efficiently.

The NASWD contains performance indicators and targets to track progress. To improve accountability, the agreement was intended to clarify the roles and responsibilities of governments. Taken together, these commitments were intended to create an effective partnership between governments in setting policy for, and overseeing the provision of, VET services.

This study will assess progress made by governments against the NASWD, and whether the agreement is still an effective long-term framework for government policy and cooperation.

The Commission has also been asked to investigate the following matters with a view to improving the performance of the VET system:

  • options for coordinating and streamlining governments’ support for the VET system
  • options for nationally-consistent funding and pricing arrangements
  • options for promoting consistency in funding and loan arrangements between VET and higher education
  • options to ensure that government investment in VET encourages increased participation in training, and is commensurate with the outcomes and benefits derived by beneficiaries
  • the potential for funding arrangements to achieve further targeted reforms, such as extending foundational learning programs and other recommendations made by the Strengthening Skills: Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training System (the Joyce Review) (Joyce 2019)
  • options to improve performance reporting, data and information sharing to assess the effectiveness of VET investment and delivery.

Initial submissions are due by Friday 20 December 2019. Opportunity for further comment will be sought upon release of the interim report on 31 March 2019.

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