This chapter lists the key topics discussed for each department and agency examined during the committee's hearings for Budget estimates 2020–21. Page numbers of the Proof Hansard for that day's hearing are indicated in brackets as a reference.
Attorney-General's portfolio, Industrial Relations matters – Monday, 26 October 2020
Both Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister representing the Minister for Industrial Relations and Mr Chris Moraitis PSM, Secretary of the
Attorney-General's Department did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for the Industrial Relations Group included:
The impacts of COVID-19 from a workplace health and safety point of view and the lessons learnt (pp. 4-7)
How technology is used to measure productivity (pp. 8-9)
The government's response to the Review of the model Work Health and Safety laws – Final report (Boland Review) (pp. 10-13, pp. 48-49)
Protection and remuneration for casual workers in the black coal sector (pp. 14-16)
Draft casual conversion legislation and the issue of requiring an objective definition of casual employment, including concerns the draft legislation would not protect a casual employee who asks to become permanent from being terminated (pp. 17-22)
The Commonwealth appeal to the High Court concerning the "issue of whether loading that was paid should be able to be offset against the claim against the National Employment Standards payments that weren't paid" (pp. 22-24)
Commonwealth involvement in Industrial Relations Federal Court and High Court matters, particularly the Rossato and Skene cases (p. 24)
The National Labour Hire Registration Scheme (pp. 25-26, 49)
Progress on recommendations from the Migrant Workers Taskforce, specifically regarding labour hire and the government's delayed response (pp. 26-29)
Employee agreements in the black coal industry (pp. 29-33)
The work done by the Attorney-General's Department to help introduce temporary industrial relations flexibility provisions, such as JobKeeper, as part of the government's COVID-19 response (p.34)
Safe Work Australia's leadership role through the National Cabinet to assist the government's COVID-19 response (p. 35)
Progress on the 34 recommendations delivered by the Senate Education and Employment References Committee report titled, They Never Came Home – The Framework Surrounding the Prevention, Investigation and Prosecution of Industrial Death in Australia (pp. 37-39, pp. 40-41)
Staffing profiles through the COVID-19 shutdown and subsequent opening up (pp. 39-40)
The new secretariat established to support the Attorney-General progress major industrial relations reforms (pp. 42-47)
Fair entitlements guarantee and the $35.3 million in additional funding (pp. 50-51)
Trends in claims against the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (pp. 51-53)
Worker rights in regards to the JobMaker hiring credit (pp. 54-55).
Safe Work Australia
Ms Michelle Baxter, Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia, did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for Safe Work Australia included:
How COVID-19 has impacted the health and safety standards and protections for employees in Australia (pp. 55-56)
Workplace deaths in 2020 and the Boland Review (pp. 56-58, p. 63)
The emerging health and safety concerns for contract labour, casual work and gig work (pp. 58-59)
How Safe Work Australia are managing an increase in presentations of psychosocial illnesses suffered as workplace injury (p. 60)
The frequency of Safe Work Australia's member meetings (pp. 60-62)
The usual process for work health and safety ministers to agree to any potential changes to the model laws (pp. 62-63).
Fair Work Commission
Ms Bernadette O'Neill, General Manager of the Fair Work Commission, did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for the Fair Work Commission included:
The roles the Commission has played in responding to challenging circumstances due to COVID-19 (pp. 65-66)
The Independent Review of the Temporary JobKeeper Provisions of the Fair Work Act conducted by the Nous Group (pp. 66-68)
How JobKeeper and JobMaker have affected the workloads and work patterns on the Commission (pp. 68-70)
The appointment and remuneration package of the Deputy President,
Mr Nicholas Lake (pp. 70-72)
Enterprise agreements for black coal miners, including the treatment of casual workers. (pp. 74-78).
Fair Work Ombudsman
Ms Sandra Parker PSM, Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for the FWO included:
The Harvest Trail Inquiry Report and the ongoing role of the FWO in reducing the exploitation of workers in the horticultural industry, particularly with regards to low-skilled seasonal workers and visa holders (pp. 79-83)
Labour hire companies and the issue of phoenixing (pp. 84-85)
The FWO's consultation with the Migrant Workers' Taskforce and the government's response to its recommendation of a labour hire registration scheme (pp. 85-86)
What protections are in place for migrant workers (pp. 86-87)
The sham contracting unit recently established by the FWO to investigate instances of workers being underpaid (p. 88)
Black coal mining industry awards, specifically for casual employees
The government's High Court challenge that is seeking to clarify whether casual loading is able to be offset against the National Employment Standards entitlements (pp. 94-95)
Company underpayments and when the FWO discloses them to the public (pp. 96-98)
Adequacy of funding to the FWO (pp. 100-101)
The FWO writing to Chairs and Chief Executive Officers of some of Australia's largest corporations (pp. 101-102)
Temporary migrant workers and protocols around the FWO referring issues to the Department of Home Affairs (pp. 104-105).
Australian Building and Construction Commission
Mr Stephen McBurney, Commissioner of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), made a short opening statement listing the recent achievements of the Commission as outlined in their annual report. Mr McBurney also highlighted the challenges caused by the pandemic when staff perform their regulatory function onsite and the primary responsibility of the Commission to protect the health and wellbeing of their staff. Finally, Mr McBurney noted the important role the ABCC will play in monitoring the new and accelerated infrastructure projects signalled in the 2020-21 Budget.
Topics discussed for the ABCC included:
Mr Stephen McBurney's travel to Queensland during the COVID-19 pandemic (pp. 105-110)
ABCC delegation provisions (p. 111)
Tyrone Construction Services and Welink pay dispute (pp. 112-113)
Instances when the ABCC were involved in litigation matters against the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (pp. 113-115)
A breakdown of the wages and entitlements the ABCC has recovered in the last 12 months (pp. 115-116)
ABCC audit of labour hire companies (pp. 117)
An overview of the 55 legal proceedings ABCC were involved in since 2016 (pp. 118-119).
Attorney-General's portfolio, Industrial Relations matters – Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Registered Organisations Commission
Mr Mark Bielecki, Commissioner of the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC), made an opening statement sharing two matters that had arisen since the ROC previously appeared at estimates: first, the support the ROC had provided to registered organisations during the pandemic; and second, a Federal Court penalty decision involving the Victorian Branch of the Australian Workers Union (AWU).
Topics discussed for the ROC included:
Cost of the ROC appeal against the Federal Court decision regarding the AWU (pp. 5-7)
Total amount of penalties imposed on the Victorian Branch of the AWU and former Branch Secretary, Mr Cesar Melhem (p. 8)
Analytics of the ROC podcast (pp. 9-10):
How many staff were involved; and
Employment levels of staff involved
Interactive workshops held by ROC during 2019 in Hobart, Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney (pp. 14-15, 17)
The remuneration package for Mr Bielecki compared to the Commissioner of the Fair Work Ombudsman (pp. 16-17)
ROC's appeal in the Federal Court against the decision to disallow them to continue investigations into the alleged breach by the AWU (pp. 18-20)
The commencement of the ROC's investigation into AWU (p. 19)
ROC's investigation into the Queensland Real Estate Industrial Organisation of Employers (pp. 20-21)
ROC's report on the Master Builders Association of Victoria (p. 22).
Ms Susan Weston PSM, Chief Executive Officer of Comcare, did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for Comcare included:
Current Comcare staffing numbers and possible reasons for high staff turnover (pp. 24-25)
The effect COVID-19 has had on Comcare's ability to assess claims and the mental health claims since COVID-19. (pp. 26-27)
The range of measures introduced specifically by Comcare to raise support and awareness for the increased risk of poor metal health during COVID-19 (pp. 8-29)
Comcare's advice to ministers concerning the Boland Review and the need for new regulations to deal with psychological health in the workplace (p. 30)
Comcare's role in managing the risk of casuals still coming to work while having cold and flu symptoms during the pandemic (pp. 31-32)
Comcare's role with the health and safety issues at Airservices Australia and the training that has taken place following a fatal accident in 2011
(pp. 32-34, 39-40)
Differences between New South Wales' icare and Comcare (p. 34)
The increase in psychological injury claims and the appropriateness of claims processes which meet clients' needs (p. 36)
Why the targets for sustained level of satisfaction and engagements with services were not met according to the annual report (p. 37)
What Comcare is doing to improve their return to work performance (p. 38).
Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
Ms Justine Ross, Chief Executive Officer of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA), did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for the ASEA included:
The ASEA hotline service (pp. 40-41)
The raised risk of exposure to asbestos at home as more people are conducting DIY work during the pandemic and what the ASEA has been doing to raise awareness (pp. 41-42)
How the ASEA is implementing the national strategic plan and showing leadership in the South East Asia and Pacific regions (p. 43)
Development of smart phone application which can identify fibres and items possibly containing asbestos (p. 44)
Possible links between damaged homes in the recent and future bushfires resulting in higher risks of people being exposed to asbestos (p. 45).
Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation
Ms Darlene Perks, Chief Executive Officer of the Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation (Coal LSL), did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for the Coal LSL included:
What steps the Coal LSL have taken since the previous estimates hearings in March 2020 to address errors in employer data and how many employees had been compensated (p. 47)
Waiver agreements concerning casuals (pp. 47-48)
The nature of the fund as a 'pooled fund' after several questions regarding employee payouts (pp. 48-49)
The case involving Mr Simon Turner and it complexities, including how the Coal LSL have been assisting Mr Turner (pp. 50-51)
Legislative changes the Coal LSL have recommended regarding 'groups of employees who don't see themselves as operating within the coal mining industry' (pp. 52-53).
Industry, Science, Energy and Resources portfolio, Small and Family Business matters – Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Both Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, and Mr David Fredericks PSM, Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, did not make opening statements.
Topics discussed for Small and Family Business matters included:
Payment times and payment times procurement policy (pp. 54-56)
Small business tax concessions. The impact the department had on the policy design. The committee was told it was a matter for Treasury
Australia's insolvency framework and changes announced by the government in September 2020. Whether industry and small business stakeholders were consulted (pp. 58-60)
Work to support small businesses in rural and regional Australia through regional managers within the department and the 170-180 business advisers who are contracted to provide expert advice for a range of areas (pp. 60-61)
The department provided anecdotal evidence of circumstances when they were able to help small businesses during the recent bushfires, drought and COVID-19 pandemic (p. 62)
How the department is supporting their own employees and how they have responded to support small business during COVID-19 (pp. 63-64)
The government's commitment to reintroduce the Bankruptcy Amendment (Enterprise Incentives) Bill 2017 (pp. 64-67)
What the department is doing around digitalisation and how they are encouraging small businesses to be more proactive in the space (pp. 67-69)
Small business loss carry-back scheme (pp. 70-71)
Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises Guarantee Scheme for business loans (pp. 73-74)
How many jobs in small and medium businesses will be created from the JobMaker hiring credit. The department took the questions on notice (p. 74)
Businesses currently receiving JobKeeper and their eligibility for the JobMaker hiring credit (p. 75)
The department's input into modelling for JobKeeper (p. 76)
What the department has done to help small businesses address their mental health concerns in the wake of a difficult year with bushfires, drought and COVID-19 (pp. 76-78).
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
Ms Kate Carnell AO, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, made an opening statement highlighting the pressure small business is under after the events in the last 12 months.
Ms Carnell spoke positively of JobKeeper, the introduction of the mandatory commercial tenancy code and cases when leasing companies, banks and the Australian Taxation Office deferred payments. As businesses get back on their feet and bank repayments will begin again with compound interest and staff entitlements having accrued, Ms Carnell signalled that small businesses may not be making profit for a very long time to come.
Ms Carnell made it clear that pre-COVID-19 issues such as payment times, unfair contract terms and the franchising code still require work as well as an ongoing inquiry into the insurance industry.
Topics discussed for the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) included:
Childcare support for families, particularly concerning women who are small business owners (pp. 80-81)
Affordable childcare and the benefits for small businesses and the entire economy (p. 81)
The ASBFEO's work with the FWO regarding small business friendly education and advice (pp. 82-83)
Travel agents being heavily affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions and their overwhelming response to an ASBFEO survey (pp. 84-85)
Travel agents being unable to continue operating if JobKeeper is cut off (pp. 86-87)
The ASBFEO road to recovery paper and the suggestion that the 'federal government should embrace a more aggressive approach to procuring from small business' (pp. 88-89)
ASBFEO insurance inquiry (pp. 90-91)
Insolvency reforms and the ASBFEO's consultation with the government which Ms Carnell believes is a move in the right direction (p. 92).
Education, Skills and Employment Portfolio – Wednesday,
28 October 2020
Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Both Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister representing the Minister for Education, and Dr Michelle Bruniges AM, Secretary of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, did not make an opening statement.
Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Early Childhood and Child Care
Topics discussed for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment - Early Childhood and Child Care included:
Childcare system funding, fees and how much the department expects centre based day care fees to increase in the 2020-21 financial year (pp. 5-7)
Follow up of a government announcement in 2018 that it will name and shame childcare centres who increased their fees (p. 8)
Details of the increases in centre based day care fees in the past 12 months (p. 9)
Transition grant payments between 13 July and 27 September 2020
The department's help desk established to assist those in the childcare sector during COVID-19 (p. 13)
Shifting patterns of demand for childcare during the pandemic (pp. 14-15)
The childcare package evaluation report undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (pp. 16-17)
The department's assessment of the studies of Australia's childcare system completed by the Grattan Institute and KPMG in 2020 (pp. 18-20)
Why a National Workforce Census of early childhood for 2019 was not completed (p. 21)
Long term planning for early childhood educators and what the workforce strategies look like (pp. 22-23)
Status of the planned review of government subsidies for the childcare sector flagged for 2020 (p. 25)
The impact of international border closures on the childcare workforce (pp. 26-27)
Whether the department's experience of providing free childcare for a short period of time during the pandemic had led to a rethink of the value of universal and free early childhood education (pp. 28-29).
Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Schools
Topics discussed for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment - Schools included:
The $3 billion in COVID-19 relief announced earlier in the year for schools that reopened and the amount of schools who received a payment
Funding for the Respect Matters program (pp. 35-36)
Funding for the Clontarf Foundation to support the education of Indigenous boys and funding for Indigenous girls through the National Indigenous Australians Agency (pp. 36-37)
The Respect Matters program timeline (pp. 38-39)
The $25 million included in the 2020-21 Budget to establish a fund enabling the government to respond to education challenges presented by COVID-19 (pp. 40-41)
The department's plans to help students who may have fallen behind due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 (pp. 42-43)
How the additional funding for school chaplains has been spent (pp. 44-46)
What oversight the department has on chaplaincy programs in state and territory run schools (pp. 47-48)
The 2020 Prime Minister's Spelling Bee and its links to the major sponsor (pp. 48-51).
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Mr David de Carvalho, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for ACARA included:
ACARA's input and proposals in relation to the Review of the National Architecture for Schooling in Australia, 2019 (p. 52-53)
The decision to allocate $1 billion for research for only one year in the 2020‑21 Budget (pp. 54-56)
Overall revenue loss universities are facing or expected to face due to COVID-19 (pp. 56-57)
What the expectations are of returning to normal enrolment patterns and the likely trends around returning Chinese international students (pp 58-59)
Projected staff reductions for university research workers and the status of the Research Sustainability Working Group (pp. 60-61).
Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Higher Education, Research and International
Topics discussed for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Higher Education, Research and International included:
Budget allocations over previous years for the higher education, research and international group within the department (pp. 62-63)
Total job losses in Australian universities during 2020, and the impact that has had on teaching quality (pp. 63-65)
The Student Serviced and Amenities Fee and the role it has regarding campus institutions, particularly relating to academic freedom (pp. 65-66)
The Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill, 2020 (Job-Ready Graduates Bill) (pp 67-71):
the effect it will have on the amount of places available to arts and STEM students;
total funding for science courses compared to the old arrangements;
influence on recent university applications;
QTech data showing courses prioritised under the Job-Ready Graduates Package had fewer people seeking to enrol in them; and
implications for student fees
Projected growth rate of universities (p. 72)
Impact of the Job-Ready Graduates Bill on environmental studies (pp. 73-74)
Cuts to theatre courses at the University of Newcastle and Monash University, and implications of the Job Ready Graduates Bill on the creative arts (pp. 75-76)
Current figures relating to HECS debt in Australia (p. 77)
Professional pathways being developed for social work and psychology (pp. 77-78)
Communications relating to the passage of the Job-Ready Graduates Bill (pp. 80-83)
The decision to exclude universities from JobSeeker (pp. 84-86).
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
Professor Nicholas Saunders, Chief Commissioner of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for TEQSA included:
What the new Higher Education Integrity Unit is responsible for and their first priorities (pp. 86-87)
TEQSA's use of third-party labour hire companies (pp. 88-89)
Public availability of TEQSA's compliance assessments (pp. 89-90)
International student recruitment and TEQSA's Murdoch University compliance assessment (pp. 90-93)
Sexual harassment on university campuses, more specifically:
The South Australian Independent Commissioner Against Corruption investigation of the former vice-chancellor of the University of Adelaide Professor Peter Rathjen;
End Rape on Campus complaints to TEQSA in June 2018; and
Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities, 2017
Building a culture of intellectual tolerance and speech tolerance in our universities (p. 94)
TEQSA's Higher Education Standards Framework released in 2018. (pp. 94‑95).
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
Mr Mark Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), made a short opening statement in which he took the opportunity to recognise the contribution of Australia's over 330 000 teachers ahead of World Teachers' Day on Friday, 30 October 2020.
He thanked the teachers for their resilience and adaptability during the recent pandemic and made the point that teachers are on the front-line of their communities and will play a pivotal roll in Australia's recovery post
Topics discussed for AITSL included:
AITSL's view of the Review of National Architecture for Schooling in Australia, 2019 and what their involvement was in drafting the report (pp. 96-97)
The government response to recommendations made in the report about the future for AITSL (p. 97).
Australian Research Council
Professor Sue Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council (ARC), did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for the ARC included:
The ARC's process of investigating allegations of misconduct against academics who have received ARC funding (pp. 99-100)
ARC funding involving international collaboration and the protection of intellectual property (pp. 104-105).
Education, Skills and Employment Portfolio – Thursday, 29 October 2020
Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Corporate Enabling Services
Both Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, and Dr Michelle Bruniges AM, Secretary of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment - Corporate Enabling Services included:
The number of staff in the department currently engaged through labour hire and the nature/frequency of their employment (pp. 5-11)
The tender process for engaging contract staff (pp. 6-7)
The temporary employment recruiters the department uses to staff its call centres (pp. 11-12)
The department's requirement to employ labour hire workers to combat surges of increased work capacity using COVID-19 as an example
The intended replacement of the current apprenticeship data management system, the Training and Youth Internet Management System (pp. 15-17).
National Skills Commission
Mr Adam Boyton, the National Skills Commissioner, made an opening statement commenting on the impact COVID-19 has had on the Australian labour market, particularity on women and young people. With the labour market not set to fully recover for some time, Mr Boyton indicated the immediate work of the Commission to help Australians get back to work and listed various ways the Commission intend to do this, such as through online job search tools, research and analysis into occupations, employer surveys, and development of consistent VET prices and new approaches to skills needs analysis.
Mr Boyton concluded his remarks by stating the National Skills Commission (NSC) will 'help more effectively match jobseekers with jobs and provide the skills industry needs'.
Topics discussed for the NSC included:
The Australian labour market prior to COVID-19 (pp. 18-19)
How the Jobs and Education Data Infrastructure (JEDI) tool will assist jobseekers looking for employment in rural and regional Australia
NSC's forecasts for industries both positive and negative and how they have been adjusted due to COVID-19 (pp. 20-21)
Total funding for the NSC (p. 22)
Mr Boyton's remuneration package and previous experience
(pp. 23-27, 35-37)
NSC's role in determining skills shortages or surpluses, the identification of future skills requirements and how this role intersects with the work done by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (pp. 28-29)
Outcomes of the NSC Career Quiz (pp. 31-32)
NSC's work developing efficient pricing of VET courses (pp. 37-38).
Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Skills and Training
Topics discussed for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment - Skills and Training included:
The cost of the wage subsidy announcements made on 12 March 2020 and 16 July 2020 (pp. 38-40)
Intent and purpose of the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements measure (p. 41)
The measures the department is taking to identify unethical employers who misuse the apprenticeship subsidies to the detriment of the employee
The government's $2.8 billion Supporting Apprenticeships and Trainees wage subsidy (pp. 47-49, 52-53)
The relationship between JobKeeper and apprentices, and how many apprentices have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 (pp. 50-51)
Details of the government's investment into VET in the 2020-21 Budget (pp. 53-54)
Repayment of VET student loans and trade support loans (pp. 54-55)
Recovery of debts due to VET FEE-HELP (pp. 55-57)
Eligibility for employers to claim apprenticeship wage subsidies for the purpose of upskilling existing employees (pp. 58-59)
The National Apprenticeship Employment Network's assessment that the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees scheme could be open to exploitation by unscrupulous employers and how the department has responded to the concerns (p. 60)
How the department is dealing with concerns of wage theft and phoenixing from employers who employ apprentices (pp. 61-62)
Increased participation of females in VET and the extra support available to women (pp. 61-62)
The JobTrainer fund, the additional training places projected and the nature of those being either full qualifications or shorter courses designed for people to upskill or transition to a new sector (pp. 62, 70-72)
Revitalising TAFE campuses around Australia and the funding the federal government is providing (pp. 64-65)
Industry training hubs, specifically the one situated in Burnie, Tasmania (pp. 65-67)
The projected operational capacity of the training hubs (pp. 68-69).
Australian Skills Quality Authority
Ms Saxon Rice, Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), made an opening statement reflecting on the considerable challenges faced by the VET sector following the bushfires and now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms Rice specifically mentioned the significant impact this will have on training providers and the supporting role ASQA will play by reducing regulatory burdens and providing greater levels education and guidance to the providers.
Ms Rice outlined how ASQA's COVID-19 risk monitoring strategy has guided its regulatory approach during the pandemic and supported providers to manage subsequent risks to quality training outcomes. Ms Rice finished by saying they have been working with stakeholders to adapt and enhance their regulatory approach ensuring the community has confidence in the integrity of national qualifications issued by training providers.
Topics discussed for ASQA included:
The three performance criteria's not met by ASQA and referenced in ASQA's opening statement (pp. 74-75)
ASQA's involvement in mitigating the risks of employers rorting the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement scheme (pp. 75-76)
The implementation of legislative changes to ASQA (pp. 77-78).
National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Mr Simon Walker, Managing Director of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), did not make an opening statement.
Topics discussed for NCVER included:
A breakdown of VET short courses, 50 hours or less, and very short courses such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Responsible Service of Alcohol and the Responsible Conduct of Gambling (pp. 81-83)
The breakdown of funding for VET qualifications with regards to Commonwealth funding, state and territory funding and student fees (pp. 83-85)
The level of communication and collaboration the federal government has with states and territories regarding VET qualifications (pp. 85-87).
Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Employment
Topics discussed for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Employment included:
Star ratings and incentives for jobactive providers to place participants in jobs rather than training (pp. 88-89)
Job applicants possibly facing age discrimination due to the JobMaker hiring credit, with all questions regarding JobMaker referred to Treasury (pp. 89-93)
Participation rates for Work for the Dole (p. 94)
What incentives are in place to encourage people to gain skills and qualifications (p. 95)
The details of the ParentsNext scheme and how the $24.7 million over four years from 2021 will be used (pp. 95-97)
Making the Youth Jobs PaTH internship program demand driven (p. 97)
Breakdown of the caseload for the jobactive program in terms of streams
A, B and C (pp. 98-99)
Projected future unemployment rates and the effect that will have on jobactive (p. 100)
JobSeeker classification scheme (p. 101)
The success rates for jobseekers and whether the department had the ability to track jobseekers post-employment to see how often they re-enter the jobactive system (pp. 102-103)
Jobactive compliance framework and the process if a participant is not fulfilling their responsibilities (p. 104)
What forms of consultations took place when determining the eligibility criteria for ParentsNext (pp. 106-107)
JobMaker hiring credit (pp. 107-110)
The Restart wage subsidy scheme and how it will assist older works who do not qualify for JobMaker (pp. 110-113).
Senator the Hon James McGrath