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We help Australian business by developing policies that highlight education and training issues impacting on their competitiveness. By advocating change and making recommendations to relevant stakeholders we help to improve the workforce skills that companies need.

Our policy efforts on behalf of members involve making submissions on education and training issues to government. Our research and project work ensures that new models and programs are trialled and implemented for industry.

Education and Training Policy Statements and Submissions

We undertake education and training research, develop policy statements and reports, and make submissions on behalf of members in order to address the skill needs of industry. Recent examples include:


Click here to view all Ai Group Education and Training submissions


Realising Potential: Solving Australia's tertiary education challenge 

Industry 4.0 Higher Apprenticeships Program 

The Imperative of Higher Apprenticeships 

Enhancing industry university engagement through graduate research students: a guide for industry

Workforce Development Needs Survey Report 2018

Skill Shortages Research Note – April 2018

Developing the Workforce for a Digital Future

Workforce Development Needs Survey Report 2016

Thought Leader Paper: The emergence of the 'gig economy'

An employer guide to work activities for uni students

Management Skills in the Manufacturing Sector Pilot Project Stage 2 Final Report

Guide to implementing innovative management development in manufacturing

Engineering Excellence Report

Engineering Excellence Appendices

Investing in Workforce Literacy Pays (Summary)

Investing in Workforce Literacy Pays (Report)

Innovate & Prosper: Ensure Australia's Future Competitiveness through University-Industry Collaboration


Enterprise Leadership in Australia

Graduate employability

Making Apprenticeships Work

Tackling Foundations Skills in the Workforce

Progressing STEM Skills in Australia

Policy Statements

This policy statement recommends a number of actions for closer cooperation by government, industry and universities to build future graduates who have the adaptive capabilities needed for the fast-changing world of work. View the full statement here.
This policy statement discusses the importance and benefits of apprenticeships to Australia, the current situation, what employers are saying and recommends a range of measures to support the apprenticeships pathway. View the full statement here.
This policy statement addresses the increasing importance of literacy and numeracy in the evolving economy, the current situation, what employers are saying, case studies and suggests what needs to be done to develop a stronger focus in this area. View the full statement here.
This national strategy is designed to increase opportunities to participate in WIL, recognising the benefits to students, employers, universities and the economy. Ai Group's partners in this national effort include the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Business Council of Australia, Universities Australia and the Australian Collaborative Education Network Ltd. The Strategy proposes action in eight key areas. View the full statement here.
This statement highlights the importance of addressing enterprise leadership in Australia, how Australia compares to other countries, addressing the barriers to improvement and approaches to the way forward. View the full statement here.
This policy statement addresses the imperative of STEM skills, the current situation in all sectors, what employers are saying and a suggested course of action and recommendations. View the full statement here.


This Statement of Intent is co-signed by Universities Australia, the Ai Group and other peak business organisations to support university-business partnerships and to advance the implementation of Work Integrated Learning for undergraduate students participating in work placements in industry.
This policy statement highlights the importance of foundation skills, the current status of these in Australia, what employers are saying about this issue and a series of recommendations for future action.
This policy statement addresses several school sector issues including resourcing, teaching capability, foundation skills, school - industry partnerships, VET in Schools programs, STEM subjects and advances a number of recommendations targeted at improvement.
This policy statement identifies the importance of STEM skills, the current decline, employer viewpoints and advances a series of recommendations for future action.
This policy statement focuses on the importance of apprentices, the current situation, employer viewpoints and identifies a number of areas for recommended action apprenticeships.

Education and Training Projects

We undertake projects, trialling new training models or support services for members, that have been identified as a result of our research and policy positions.

Recent examples include:

Industry 4.0 is about the next stage in manufacturing driven by the impact of digitalisation and emerging technologies on Australia’s ability to compete and participate in global value chains. This project seeks to address these challenges through the development and introduction of a new Diploma and Associate Degree of Applied Technologies, developed by Swinburne University of Technology, and delivered by Siemens Ltd through an apprenticeship mode.
Ai Group is undertaking two projects within its Apprenticeship Compact with the NSW Department of Industry. The projects aim to assist companies and their apprentices with language, literacy and numeracy needs, and to assist school/industry liaison for the recruitment of apprentices. The projects have recently commenced and will continue through 2019.
This innovative project, funded by the Victorian Government, involved a leadership development program aimed at facilitating the transition of emerging leaders from shopfloor positions into a management role. The program used a number of methods including action learning, adaptive leadership principles and a framework for regular coaching and self-guided reflection. Individualised work based projects were driven by company needs and participants undertook the program in groups of eight companies, establishing business networks. The learnings from the project have helped to develop an implementation guide for use by any company or RTO.
This project is mapping current school - industry STEM skills programs and will conduct pilot programs designed to raise the participation of schools and industry in the provision of STEM skills.
This Accelerated Apprenticeship initiative funded by the Australian Government implemented competency based progression and completion for over 3,500 engineering apprentices across ten different Registered Training Organisations covering each State.


This is an Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Program initiative which provides mentoring services to over 400 manufacturing apprentices and their employers to assist apprentices to complete their apprenticeship.
this is an Australian Government funded project to determine the return on investment for employers participating in the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program.
This project is funded by the Office of Chief Scientist and involves the collaboration of the Ai Group with the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers to determine what mathematics skills are used in the workplace and how these can be integrated into the secondary school curriculum.

National VET system Industry Reference Committees

Ai Group represents members on a number of national VET system Industry Reference Committees (IRC) currently working to update a range of critical cross-sectoral skills within VET qualifications. The task is to create flexible and transferable training package components that will benefit industry and learners. The specific cross-sectoral activity is focussing on skills across:

  • Automation
  • Big Data
  • Cyber Security
  • Digital Skills
  • Supply chain
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Teamwork and communication
  • Consumer engagement through social media
  • Inclusion of people with disability

Some of the cross-sector projects intersect with Industry Growth Centres (IGCs) whose work brings insight to training package development. Ai Group’s representatives on the Industry Reference Committees include:

Industry Reference Committee

Ai Group Representative

Business Services

Louise McGrath

Construction, Plumbing and Services

Lindsay Le Compte

(Australian Constructors Association)


Paolo Damante

Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical

Carolyn Macgill

Information and Communications Technology

Charles Hoang

Manufacturing and Engineering

David Tiller

Daniel Murray

Kristian Stratton

Doug de Cean

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Carolyn Macgill


Mark Goodsell


IRCs are the formal channel for the consideration of industry skills requirements in the development and review of Australia’s training packages.  IRCs ensure training packages meet the needs and concerns of employers, employees, training providers, and those seeking training qualifications. To make sure industry’s views are taken into account, IRCs gather information from their specific industry sector—including the challenges, opportunities, trends and industry requirements for training. Detailed reports are refreshed annually by the Committees.

If your business has a skills issue you would like to raise in relation to specific Committees or VET qualifications, please contact Anne Younger ( or 03 9867 0172).

Click here for more information on all IRCs.

Click here to stay up to date with relevant cross-sector projects.

Contact Us

Short course training programs
1300 55 66 77

Accredited training programs
1300 13 47 56