The 2019 Skills Conference continues to build on previous years themes to ensure as an industry we keep Vocational Education and Training high on the government agenda. This years theme will be Driving Innovation in Vocational Education and Training.

The Skills Conference will provide a deeper engagement with the issues and ideas on the skills agenda and give the interests of employers and apprentices more weight in public debate.

The conference is designed to maximise skills policy exchange and debate via keynote presentations, moderated panel discussions, as well as formal speeches by prominent and relevant industry spokespeople.

We are pleased to present this program to you.  We look forward to having you join us.

2019 Skills Conference – Driving Innovation in Vocational Education and Training
Draft Agenda as at 7th June 2019 (subject to change)

Thursday 13 June 2019
 8:00 AM Registration and Networking
 9:00 AM Welcome and Opening Remarks – Jason Sultana – Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT
 9:10 AM

Session One – State of the Nation
With the NSW election in March and the Federal election expected by May, what does the future hold for the economy and VET moving forward? We discuss the state of the nation.
Facilitator: Dianne Dayhew – National Executive Officer, National Apprentice Employment Network
Panellists: Mark Tierney – Global Economist-Investments, AustralianSuper
Panellists: Chris Kenny – The Australian & Sky News

 9.50 AM Session Two – New approaches to apprenticeships and traineeships
In order to cater to the constantly changing world we live in, we need to consider how we attract and deliver apprenticeships and traineeships to people moving forward. We speak to two organisations who have demonstrated new approaches to recruiting, training and supporting apprentices and trainees for their industries/region.
Facilitator: Peta Skujins – Director, AATIS
Panellist: Peter Nolan – CEO, PEER
Panellist: Craig Randazzo – CEO, Skillset
 10.30 AM Morning Tea
 11:10 AM Sponsor Address – Glen Babington – Chief Operating Officer,  TAFE NSW 
 11:20 AM

Session Three – Australia’s looming skills shortage – building the workforce of tomorrow
A skills shortage across key Australian industries could have a lasting impact on Australia’s economic growth and competitiveness. We will discuss ways to bridge the skills gap, and what policy options are available for positive change. We examine how government, corporates, and the educations sector can stay abreast of workforce demands and what must be done to ensure that Australia has the skills and expertise to power the nation’s emerging industries and be globally competitive.
Facilitator: Toni Jones – Group Sales Director – News Corp Australia
Panellist: Dr. Geethani Nair-  Head of SkillsPoint, Technology & Business Services – TAFE NSW
Panellist: Mark Easson – Chief Financial Officer –  TAFE NSW
Panellist: Andrea Poletti – Head of SkillsPoint, Tourism and Experience Services, TAFE NSW

 12:00 PM Session Four – Digital disruption and VET
Much discussion has occurred about the impact that technological disruption will have on the Australian workforce. Let’s take a look at what are the implications of digital disruption for VET in Australia, how it is impacting employers today and what is being done to address it.
Facilitator: Josephine Andersen – Director, Skills Canberra
Panellist: Professor Pi-Shen Seet – Edith Cowan University
Panellist: Keiran Mott – CEO, Veritec
 12.40 PM Lunch
 1:40 PM Keynote Interview
The Hon Steven Joyce
To discuss his recent review into Vocational Education and Training in Australia and his report  “Strengthening Skills: Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training System.
 2:15 PM Keynote Presentation 
The Vocational Education and Training (VET) industry constantly struggles with convincing parents and young people that completing an apprenticeship or traineeship is an acceptable option to start a career instead of going straight into university.  We discuss ways the industry can consider changing the thinking from today.
Kieran Flanagan – The Impossible Institute
 3.15 PM Short Afternoon Tea Break
 3:25 PM Session Five – Engaging young people into VET & Apprenticeships
Engaging young people early in their schooling years on career options allows a greater ability to recruit apprentices and trainees in the future. We discuss some of the work and research being done to tackle this.
Facilitator: John Wills – Assistant Principal, McCarthy Catholic College
Panellist: Darren Coppin CEO – Esher House
Panellist: Louise Selles – VET in Secondary Schools, ACT Education Directorate         
4:05 PM Session Six – Innovation in VET 
Around the country, the VET industry is delivering innovative projects to meet the skill needs of the nation. We speak with two organisations who have developed key initiatives towards their projects and share their journey in achieving the results they have.
Facilitator: Gail Silman – Training Services NSW
Panellist: Sonja Malcolm – Sydney Metro Project
Panellist: Peter Canavan- Ai Group
4:45 PM Closing Remarks


We would like to thank the following 2019 Sponsors and Exhibitors:

TAFE NSW Enterprise

Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

Skills Canberra