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Macfarlane promises new training strategy

article image Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says he has been developing a strategy whereby universities, innovative companies, and the CSIRO will help struggling companies.

According to the Australian, Macfarlane has been working on the strategy since he was sworn in as industry minister.

“But when we started this process, we hadn’t had the Holden, Toyota and Alcoa announcements,” he told HES.

“That all adds some urgency to what we’re doing.”

He said that the job losses will actually boost the training sector and that the interface between industry and training is important.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for me to hear both sides of the argument as one minister. I think that’s an advantage,” Macfarlane said.

The minister’s statements come as the government is planning a broader reform of the vocational training sector. As The Australian reports, changes could include self-regulation of training colleges and the sharing of TAFE facilities with businesses.

“If industry wants to run training programs and there’s an asset sitting there not being fully utilised, let’s fully utilise it. That will require some agreement between the states and the private sector, but if TAFEs sit idle at night and weekends, that’s a massive asset going to waste,” Macfarlane told the Australian.

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