SA's WorkReady Subsidised Training List Survey 2015

The SA State Government has scrapped the Skills for All programs and is to replace it with their WorkReady program from the 1st of July. Since 2012 the Skills for All program saw the percentage of South Australian’s with non-school qualifications rise from 58.6% to 62.3% through over 100,000 subsidised or free training places but was criticised for its failure to concentrate on job outcomes.

The aim of the WorkReady program is to better support direct connections between training and jobs at the local level and connect people to the training and support best suited to them. This, the Department argues, will result in a greater assessment of potential students before they start their training.

To prepare for the new WorkReady program the State Development department called for interested parties to contribute to their WorkReady Subsidised Training List Survey 2015. In consultation with SAFC membership and in particular our Skills and Careers Management Team, SAFC submitted to the Survey.

What is particularly of note is the Department’s designation of Logistics and Stevedoring Certificates as of “Low Public Value”. This is particularly surprising given the Transport and Logistics Industry constitutes 8.6% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product and 6.9% to the South Australian GSP. Between 2010 and 2030 Infrastructure Australia has estimated that truck traffic is to increase by 50%, rail freight is expected to jump 90% and the number of containers crossing the nation’s wharfs to increase by 150% . The availability and capability of an educated transport and logistics workforce will be a crucial factor in meeting the demands of future freight growth.

Since the transport and logistics is core to the wider development of the South Australian economy, it is important that the significance of transport and logistics courses is recognised in the state, and that any future State training strategy looks to sufficiently plan to address skills need, not just for the short term but into the medium and long term.

The South Australian Freight Council would argue that many of the transport and logistics courses identified as “having low public value” are indeed essential to the continued expansion of the South Australian economy. In particular, with the amount of middle class consumers on Australia’s doorstep to multiple sixfold to 3 billion by 2030, without careful consideration given to the development of the transport and logistics workforce, South Australia will not have the resources to take advantage of this opportunity. This will make it near impossible for SA to achieve the first two of the ten economic priorities outlined by the Premier in August 2014:

1) Unlocking the full potential of South Australia’s resources, energy and renewable assets &

2) Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world.

Certificate III and other qualifications in Logistics are becoming more and more important to the wider transport and logistics industry. Not only is a rapidly expanding industry creating job opportunities, computerisation and automation have changed the nature of work, requiring specialised and higher-level computer skills, problem-solving and analytic skills, and more sophisticated contract management practises. A qualified workforce is needed to adapt to these challenges.

Furthermore the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council has estimated that the Logistics Sector is to increase its workforce by 21,300 people over the next five years. Without sufficient importance paid to logistics qualifications the state will be failing to adequately prepare for the future development of the state economy. It is evident that the Department of State Development needs to be reminded by the transport and logistics industry to the importance of these qualifications.

For more information on the WorkReady program see http://workready.statedevelopment.sa.gov.au/