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Submission to National Skills Passport consultation


Master Builders Australia (Master Builders) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Department of Education and Department of Employment and Workplace Relations’ (the Departments) National Skills Passport consultation.

Master Builders is the nation’s peak building and construction industry association which was federated in 1890. Master Builders’ members are the Master Builder state and territory associations. Master Builders is the only industry association that represents all three sectors: residential, commercial and civil construction. Master Builders members represent over 32,000 businesses, including the top 100 construction companies.

Members include registered training organisations (RTOs) and group training organisations (GTOs) that provide apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship services, as well as other education and training to people in the building and construction industry.

Master Builders RTOs have higher rates of retention and completion than other RTOs in the building and construction sector. They provide training by industry, for industry. Master Builders is supportive of a National Skills Passport in principle, and notes that the building and construction industry does already have access to similar services, for example, MyPass.

Master Builders notes that platforms of this kind have been recommended and explored in the past. The National Credentials Platform and Microcredentials Marketplaces form recent history in this space and did not achieve their goals. It is important that Government learns from the processes undertaken through both of these consultations and does not repeat mistakes.

It will be important for Government to better define a microcredential to ensure that a National Skills Passport is not undermining the quality of education offered by legitimate and well-regarded educational institutions.

Education and training – the way students learn and teachers deliver – is rapidly evolving. Master Builders wholly supports an objective to better integrate the tertiary system and ensure there are many valid, quality opportunities for upskilling and lifelong learning. It is fundamental in this industry. However, it must be noted that tinkering around the edges will not bring about the education system Australia seeks. Until the tertiary system – especially vocational training – is reformed to become more responsive, fit for purpose and future-focussed, Australia will not meet its goals.

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