Skilled. Thriving. Connected. initiative a new direction for SA
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Skilled. Thriving. Connected. initiative a new direction for SA to beat skills shortages

Skilled. Thriving. Connected. initiative a new direction for SA to beat skills shortages

by Freya Lucas

March 06, 2024

The South Australian Government has released a new skills policy – the first in over a decade – which will drive reform and investment in training over the next 10 years.


“Today marks the biggest change to the skills system in South Australia in over a decade,” SA Education minister Blair Boyer said. 


“Following extensive consultation with unions, industry, students and training providers, we have developed this policy to drive the improvements we need to skills in our state.”


Skilled. Thriving. Connected. outlines significant reforms for South Australia’s skills system to ensure the State has the skilled workforce it needs now and into the future, and aims to direct more investment to the sectors and industries which are a priority for the state including early childhood education, renewable energy, defence, and building and construction. 


“This policy spells out the State Government’s long-term approach to combat the persistent skills shortages that have been felt by industry, businesses and the community,” Mr Boyer said. 


“Ensuring students actually finish their course, makes sure every cent invested in skills delivers the best outcomes for the economy – taking strong action against any unscrupulous behaviour, having a strong public provider, and ensuring all parts of the training system are working together to deliver the skilled workforce our state needs.”


Skilled. Thriving. Connected., he continued, “sets a bold ambition for what we need the skills system to deliver in South Australia: That we will have highly adaptable skilled people that contribute to a thriving South Australia and are supported by a connected skills system.”


Key reforms set out in the new policy include:


  • A stronger focus on learner wellbeing and completions – rather than focusing solely on commencements.
  • Placing TAFE SA at the centre of the skills system to deliver on government priorities, ensure regional communities have access to training, and drive collaboration with other training providers – with a strong role for not-for-profit, industry and other non-government training providers to complement TAFE SA’s public provider role.
  • Having a greater emphasis on ensuring the quality and integrity of training providers and employers.
  • Requiring employers, unions, and industry to actively engage.


In the coming months, the State Government will release the Jobs and Skills Outlook for 2024, outlining current and emerging skills needs, and the Skills Investment Plan, detailing how investment in skills will meet the growing demands of key employment areas such as defence and social care.

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