Australia’s Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) has appointed HumanAbility, a group of Foundation members, as the new Jobs and Skills Council (JSC) for health and human services, early childhood education and care, and sport and recreation. The new JSC will assume a leadership role and provide expert guidance to these industries.
At least 30 Foundation members comprise the new JSC, including industry organisations, employers, unions, and consumer organisations who applied for the new role.
HumanAbility, Jobs and Skills Council for Health and Human Services, Early Education and Sports and Recreation Plans
Interim CEO Rob Bonner recently outlined HumanAbility’s plans and how they will work with members and stakeholders to improve skills development and job opportunities. He wanted to ensure a more strategic approach to skills development and a more future and industry-focussed approach to qualifications development.
“We will use the existing networks of our members and supporters and build on them to ensure that our work is well informed by stakeholders across the country and our sectors of interest,” Bonner said in his February 14 message.
HumanAbility will have a significant role in ensuring that plans for the workforce and qualifications are grounded in more profound knowledge and responsiveness to the needs of the sectors’ employers and employees.
Bridging the Gap with the Health and Human Services Jobs and Skills Council
HumanAbility plans to actively engage with its members, supporters, and industry stakeholders to encourage their participation in all of its projects and initiatives.
The new Jobs and Skills Council for Health and Human Services and other key industries plans to create standing forums to develop industry plans and lead projects in specific areas.
Bonner said HumanAbility would also establish industry advisory committees in children’s education and care, health and human services, aged and disability care and support, and sport and recreation. It would also create larger forums for industry leaders, education providers, small and regional service providers, and students.
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) has expressed its support for the new Jobs and Skills Council for Health and Human Services, HumanAbility, as announced by Federal Minister for Skills and Training, The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP.
AHHA Chief Executive Kylie Woolcock, in a December 15, 2022 report published on their website, said the new Jobs and Skills Council creates an open and collaborative tripartite membership across organisations of all sizes and types.
“Together, we will ensure training is aligned to the skills that are in demand and meets industry needs in a timely manner,” she said.
She underscored the importance of thinking of the workforce broadly, not just the health professionals, but the entire workforce that supports the sector.
She further emphasised that HumanAbility recognises the commonality of skills and workforce challenges facing the health and human services, early education, and sport and recreation sectors. “All are focused on the well-being of individuals and communities,” she added.
HumanAbility’s role in ensuring the VET system reflects geographical variations in need is crucial, particularly in rural and regional parts of Australia experiencing workforce shortages. The success of the Jobs and Skills Council for Health and Human Services will depend on its flexibility and ability to adapt skills to evolving industries.
The AHHA advocates for high-quality, universally accessible healthcare in Australia as the independent peak membership body, collaborating with the government and stakeholders for better health outcomes.
Have Your Say in Shaping the Future of Workforce Planning with HumanAbility
HumanAbility interim CEO Rob Bonner has called on stakeholders to provide input on crucial workforce and workforce development issues.
The new Jobs and Skills Council for Health and Human Services is set to tackle these issues and support stakeholders following a potentially disruptive transition period. The Council must provide an initial workforce plan from February to April, focusing on existing reports and information.
While the initial review is a high-level desktop process, the Council remains keen on hearing from stakeholders about the must-have elements of the plan. It will share issues identified under former advisory arrangements as they identify draft priority areas in the weeks ahead.
The new Health and Human Services Jobs and Skills Council will also identify the key issues that must be addressed in workforce development, providing a clear workforce plan.
Bonner emphasised the importance of stakeholder input in developing this plan, as the Council aims to tackle critical issues affecting stakeholders. Thus, he urged stakeholders to share their input and contribute to the workforce planning processes despite the limited timeframes.
HumanAbility believes that stakeholder engagement is critical to creating a workforce plan that meets the needs of stakeholders, and the organisation is committed to utilising various engagement processes in the future. If you want to contribute your ideas and suggestions, submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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