QUEENSLAND has passed new laws that will abolish Skills Queensland and bring responsibilities for vocational education into the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE)

The Vocational Education, Training and Employment (Skills Queensland) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2013 was introduced into parliament by Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek in August, where it was referred to the Education and Innovation Committee to report by 7 October 2013 before being further debated.

The main objective of the bill is to amend the Vocational Education, Training and Employment Act 2000 (VETE Act) to abolish Skills Queensland and give the Director-General of the DETE responsibility for its functions regarding: apprentices and trainees; restricted callings; vocational placements; group training organisations; principal employer organisations; employment exemptions and non-departmental employment skills development programs.

“The Skills and Training Taskforce found that Skills Queensland, established in 2010, had not been effective in addressing the fundamental strategic skills needs of industry,” Mr Langbroek said in his introductory speech.

“In this regard, the government is establishing an industry advisory body, the Ministerial Industry Commission (which) will be responsible for advising me on the state’s skilling priorities and industry needs, and priorities for funding qualifications that will align training with job opportunities.

“The commission will enable a direct relationship between government, industry and employers that will give industry and employers genuine opportunity to input into how public training investment is made.”

Mr Langbroek said the primary reason for abolishing Skills Queensland is to ‘avoid wasteful duplication’.

A new section of the bill ensures that the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission can allow for an appeal of a previous Skills Queensland decisions to be remitted to the chief executive of DETE.