• Skilling South Australia

How training will stack up in an ever changing world

Picture: Mike Burton/The Advertiser

Courtesy of The Advertiser.

South Australian Training Advocate, Renee Hindmarsh, pictured, has a lot on her plate.

“If I had to explain it in one sentence, I would say: It’s a one-stop shop for anyone wanting to know about or requiring assistance with the post-secondary training system,” says Hindmarsh, who came to the role in February.

“I would say I am SA’s champion for post secondary training and skills development. We look at everything from vocational education, apprenticeships and traineeships, adult community education and higher education.”

Hindmarsh says her work is aimed at ensuring the state’s training system will deliver the skills needed for the future under the Skilling South Australia initiative.

Skilling South Australia is part of broad State Government reforms to rebuild the training system, which includes listening to the needs of industry and being ready to take advantage of opportunities in growth industries.

“I’d like to see SA as a place where human capital is our competitive advantage and where we create a local, highly skilled workforce,” she says. “But it’s also a place where people from Australia and the region want to come because of jobs that have been created, either in things like space or the start-up economy, defence or agriculture and viticulture.”

Hindmarsh works with stakeholders and the Training and Skills Commission.

She says an ongoing review of the Training and Skills Development Act creates the opportunity to consider what the state’s training system might look like in the future.

“Some of the things that are coming through clearly are that people want flexibility in the system,” Hindmarsh says. “Could we have shorter, more flexible, stackable credentials –things like micro credentials that can potentially form a larger qualification over time, be more modularised?”

Such flexibility would benefit people already in the workforce and looking to upskill, change career tracks or who haven’t studied for a while. “It wouldn’t be that micro credentials replace traditional learning, but it’s really attractive to those people who are challenged with time and don’t have the capacity to invest in a two year full time degree,” she says.

Flexibility would also help give people access to lifelong learning, which is key to keeping the workforce well skilled as industry and technology rapidly evolves, she says.

Industry input into updating and designing training pro-grams is also on the rise, to en-sure graduates have relevant skills. The ongoing issue, she says, is the transition from a traditional manufacturing base to the state’s “new strengths in things like defence, wine industry and space industry, which is really exciting”. “If we as policy makers and advocates are aware of the opportunities and get ahead of them that’s good,” she adds.



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