The Training and Skills Development (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into the SA Parliament by the Minister for Innovation and Skills, D G Pisoni, (the Minister) on 2 July 2020. According to the Minister, the Bill is the outcome of a thorough consultative review of the Training and Skills Development Act 2008 (the TSD Act).
Since the TSD Act commenced in 2008, the development needs of the SA workforce, and the training and skills required, has seen significant change. The way business operates has been transformed by changes to the nature of work, and the tools and technologies used in the workplace. As a result. a training system needs to be flexible and responsive to the kinds of skills that are required and how training for those skills is accessed and delivered. To assist with this need a review of the TSD Act was undertaken to respond to the key recommendations from the Training and Skills Commission’s Skills for Future Jobs 2020 Series: Future-proofing the Apprenticeship and Traineeship System report which obtained stakeholder views on how well the apprenticeships and traineeship system were working and whether it meet contemporary needs.
The Bill proposes change to improve the structure and clarity of the TSD Act, which aims to assist stakeholders in meeting the obligations the TSD Act imposes on them. The main improvements proposed are to:
The Bill proposes the introduction of revised objectives, the main ones being:
The Bill introduces a large number of reforms, the main ones being:
The SA Skills Commission (the Commission) will be established and will report to the SA Skills Commissioner (the Commissioner), a new office proposed to be created by the Bill. The Commission will replace and combine the roles of the Training and Skills Commission and the Training Advocate, aiming to streamline the training system and remove confusion and duplication. The Commissioner will support the work of the Commission but "is not bound by its recommendations". The Commission is to be subject to direction by the Minister (but not with respect to making a particular finding or recommendation). The Commission consists of the Commissioner and up to 10 other members appointed by the Minister, and members must have the abilities and experience required for the effective performance of the Commission’s functions.
The Bill provides that the Minister may, on the recommendation of the Commission, declare an occupation to be a trade or declared vocation and expands the scope of the power to include, in addition to primary qualifications:
The Bill streamlines the employer registration provisions under the TSD Act. Resulting from changes proposed to be introduced by the Bill, the Commission must register an employer if:
The Commission will continue to have the power to impose restrictions on registration in appropriate circumstances
The Bill proposes changes allowing the Commission to declare an employer to be a "prohibited employer". Matters to be considered in making such a declaration, include:
Transfer Fee: The Bill introduces a transfer fee payable from an employer to another employer when a training contract is transferred from the former to the latter. Such transfer (or substitution) must be approved by the Commission, which can consider the submissions of the first employer in relation to the proposed transfer of the apprenticeship or traineeship.
Training Contracts: The Bill proposes a stronger focus on the obligations of parties to training contracts.
Recognition of Training: The Bill also makes changes with respect to nominated training organisations and the recognition of other trade training.
Judicial Review: The Bill empowers the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) to order an employer to pay another employer specified costs associated with the early termination of a training contract where it occurs partly or wholly due to a financial or other inducement or reward. Further the Bill provides for the review of decisions by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).
In a media release the Premier has stated:
In the same media release the Minister is reported as saying consultation on the Bill was open through YourSAy giving ". . . stakeholders an opportunity to have their say on reforms and ensure they meet the needs of industry, the training sector and individuals." The YouSAy consultation on the Bill opened on 2 July 2020 and closes at 5pm on Thursday 20 August 2020.
Regulations and guidelines supporting the updated TSD Act are to be developed through consultation with stakeholders once the Bill has passed through the SA Parliament.
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Training and Skills Development (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2020 (70 of 2020) [SA], second reading speech and explanatory materials as reported in TimeBase's LawOne service
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