The article doesn’t detail which programs are considered ‘dud’ nor does it specify the amount of taxpayer dollars being “wasted”. But it’s likely that Morrison is referring to government funded programs that in his view do not lead to employable skills that result in real jobs or productive businesses.
Last week, the Prime Minister in his address to the Master Builders forum stated that he refuses to waste any further taxpayer’s money on what he calls ‘Dud Programs’ and expects business to take greater responsibility for workforce planning and development. An interesting article written by Matthew Cranston in the Financial Review covered the story.
The article discusses the government’s challenge to CEOs to significantly increase investment in workforce planning and VET training. According to the government, industry investment in workforce development leads to greater productivity, better wages and more sustainable businesses.
Employees are said to be critical of both their employers and of paid training programs that deliver no workplace skills. The net result is that employees don't feel they are getting value for money when they invest in training that does not aligns with career objectives and job opportunities.
What does this mean for RTOs and businesses?
If the promised benefits of sustainable and profitable business with a motivated and engaged workforce are to be believed, then the government's initiative is, on balance a good thing. Businesses that have no skin in the game with regards to the type and quality of training delivered on behalf of their industry are less likely to correct broken systems than those businesses that invest in and expect effective training results.
The key benefit to RTOs would be a more reliable income stream that is not dependent on government funding; an income stream that is better aligned with industry needs and therefore more sustainable. To date the primary source of feedback from employers comes via employer surveys and feedback. This is both passive and retrospective, i.e. after the event. What if individual employers actually had more direct say in shaping training and assessment programs, beyond industry representation through skills councils? That should lead to increased 'buy-in' and commitment to the effectiveness and success of VET programs.
If, as a CEO you accept the government’s challenge, you’ll be looking for ways to maximise the promised benefits at minimal additional cost to your enterprise.
One important way to achieve those benefits is to purchase good systems. Systems that help you identify talent, train your workforce and measure performance will go a long way towards achieving:
- The competencies your business needs to be productive
- Better understanding and connection with your people
- A sustainable business with access to more trained and competent people.
Good systems also provide data that enables you to integrate better with your RTOs and training providers.
Every business needs succession planning. Dependence on skills that are in short supply has got too many Australian companies into trouble far too frequently. On the flip-side, commitment to ongoing training in the right skills ensures the wheels of business can keep turning when demand suddenly ramps up.
As a CEO, you might reasonably assume that the responsibility for providing competent resources rests with the government. Morrison believes that the responsibility should be shared. That debate falls outside the scope of this article. But is it worth the risk of not having the people your business absolutely needs? If you could employ systems and processes that help you achieve those goals with little to no extra cost wouldn’t that be worth considering?
- Creation of a capability/skill matrix that is right for your business.
- Integration with you HR system makes it easy to identify training needs and report results by role and business unit.
- A blended learning environment offers convenient online learning while balancing the needs of hands-on workplace and instructor-led training and assessment.
- Ability to create role development plans provide the opportunity to collaborate and engage your people, their supervisors, training providers and their colleagues in a 360 degree approach to planning effective skill development.
- Automated enrolments and notifications ensure stakeholders follow through with the activities in their role development plans
- Scheduled training events that give people the opportunity to engage in training and assessments activities.
- External Training provides the means to integrate the training provided by your partner RTOs and other providers with internal programs.
- Continuous professional development (PD) ensures your people can stay current and up to date.
- AVETMISS and Unique Student Identifier (USI) compliance. Many Australian businesses are classified as Enterprise RTOs with reporting responsibilities.
Meeting Morrison’s challenge is certainly possible without system. But why not invest in a software resource that already has the skills and capabilities you need to help create a productive, sustainable business with a fully engaged workforce?