UA is the peak body representing Australia’s 39 comprehensive universities. Our member universities span the length and breadth of Australia. Together, they educate around one and a half million students each year, undertake significant research and development activities, and engage globally to grow Australia and the world’s knowledge base while supporting our nation’s economic and social wellbeing.
Universities, along with other tertiary education providers, fuel Australia’s workforce, and as such, aim to match their graduate outputs to the nation’s skills needs. To do this complex work, tertiary education providers should be given the best economy-wide and sectoral workforce analyses and forecasts that JSA can create and distribute.
This submission makes two key arguments:
- That JSA conduct economy-wide and sectoral workforce analyses that will support universities and other tertiary educators to support the nation’s workforce needs. This would provide the clearest demand signal which universities our students can respond to.
- That JSA could work with the Department of Education in a coordinating role, bringing together the key stakeholders of workforce development in Australia – universities, other higher education providers, and VET providers, in pursuit of the nation’s workforce goals. A collaboration of this nature would support JSA’s intention to develop solutions to workforce and skills issues, while also incentivising tertiary education providers’ and others’ desire to support the functions of JSA.
To this end, UA, TAFE Directors Australia (TDA), the Independent Tertiary Education Council of Australia (ITECA) and Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA), are collectively seeking to collaborate with government on issues affecting Australia’s workforce
As the peak representative bodies for tertiary education in Australia, whose work contributes directly to Australia’s current and emerging workforce, we believe there would be immense benefit to government working closely with these peak organisations to deliver a collaborative approach to strengthening Australia’s workforce future.
We believe there would be benefit in the following:
- That UA, and other tertiary peak bodies, be fully represented on the JSA advisory board to ensure workforce issues are fully considered alongside the education pipeline.
- That JSA conduct economy-wide and sectoral workforce analyses that will support universities, students, and other tertiary educators to support the nation’s workforce needs.
- That JSA, alongside other relevant departments, take a coordinating role amongst key workforce stakeholders in developing and actioning solutions to Australia’s workforce and skills needs.
- That JSA consider working closely with tertiary education providers and representative bodies to identify relevant issues, priority areas and solutions in a coordinated and collaborative manner to enhance JSA’s visibility and impact.
- That JSA take a principles-based approach to its work, based on representativeness, inclusivity, evidence-based decision making, transparency, flexibility, independence, collaboration and community engagement, continuous improvement, clear communication, and sustainability.
- That JSA provide clarity on the responsibilities of each advisory group within the proposed structure.