Vincent Schrieber won the 2009 Queensland Training Awards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year. Vincent maintains Yarrabah's water systems and sees water management as an essential service for his community.
Under Toward Q2: Tomorrow's Queensland, the department has lead responsibility for the SMART - delivering world-class education and training ambition that three out of four Queenslanders will hold a trade, training or tertiary qualification by 2020.
Developing skills is fundamental to Queensland's economic prosperity. It is a key driver of productivity and economic growth, and is central to shaping our human capital and community capacity.
The department is committed to improving attainment and transitions for young people. National and international evidence shows that young people who complete 12 years of education have greater opportunities for further education and sustainable employment.
Queensland state high schools offer senior students a broad range of learning experiences. By combining traditional curriculum with courses from TAFE institutes, universities and other RTOs, students are able to diversify their studies, improving their ability to make a seamless transition from school to work or further education.
The Senior Education and Training Plan process is a requirement for all schools. It helps students structure their learning around their abilities, interests and ambitions, and supports strong post-school transitions. As part of the planning process, students think about their future, consider their abilities and investigate their options for careers and further education.
As well as supporting a comprehensive range of learning pathways, the department is creating new skilling pathways to adapt to the shifting economic conditions and support individuals to move into sustainable employment.
Today's training is increasingly responsive to the needs of learners and employers. Training is more relevant, delivery more flexible and the quality higher than ever before. TAFE (including statutory authorities) is the largest provider of practical, relevant and quality education and training in Queensland, delivering educational excellence to 230 000 students this year.
The department is leading activities across the VET and higher education sectors to ensure that Queensland has a competent, flexible and skilled population.
The department is creating a more aligned and integrated Queensland tertiary sector by bringing together VET and higher education through policy development, more targeted purchasing strategies, and strengthened industry and stakeholder engagement. Reforms that are driving increased attainment and completion of higher level qualifications are well underway to produce the skills needed for a growing economy, including:
Strategy: Strengthen industry and stakeholder engagement to achieve improved skills outcomes
The department has maintained its strong relationships with business and industry to ensure industry-led VET sector and workforce development strategies meet their needs. A key focus has been integrating industry advice into programs implemented by the department through its industry engagement mechanisms. Current strategies include:
A review of industry engagement mechanisms was completed in June 2010. The outcomes of the review provide recommendations to improve government engagement with industry and assist the development of a more industry-led VET system. The review also gives emphasis to industry's need for workforce planning and development initiatives.
In the future, the department will further develop its relationship with industry through the establishment of an independent skills commission to lead engagement with industry and the community at the very highest levels. The skills commission, to be known as Skills Queensland, will bring together key industry and government leaders in a genuine partnership to increase productivity and workforce participation. It will address skills gaps and the demands of our growing economy.
Strategy: Refocus training and skilling opportunities to respond to the changing economic environment and industry needs
During 2009-10, the department worked to increase the number of graduates to address professional skills shortages through collaboration with stakeholders involved in related initiatives and coordinated activity to:
A key focus for 2009-10 has been on addressing the skill needs of the emerging coal seam gas/liquefied natural gas industry. The department supported initiatives to address the skill needs of existing and new workers in this industry, to ensure an adequately skilled workforce is available for the energy sector and to maximise opportunities for local workers.
In addition, the department has been progressing Queensland's Skills for a Low Carbon Economy project to support and advance existing state and national policy commitments on environmental sustainability. The department has been working with industry to increase its capacity to support excellence in skills for sustainability practice and training. For more information please visit www.training.qld.gov.au/industry
In 2009-10, the department enhanced opportunities for individuals and the economy. Our key achievements included: