2 April 2024

Government establishes Jobs and Skills Australia Ministerial Advisory Board

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Brendan O'Connor at a lectern

Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Conner has welcomed the Ministerial Advisory Board appointees. Photo: Brendan O’Connor Facebook.

The Federal Government has announced the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Board for the Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) agency.

Described as a critical part of JSA’s governance structure, the board will provide independent, expert and strategic advice to the Minister for Skills and Training, and to the JSA Commissioner in relation to JSA’s legislated functions and the development of annual work plans.

The JSA was established in 2022 under the Jobs and Skills Australia Act 2022. It aims to realise Australia’s full skills potential through improved workforce participation, productivity, wages and equity.

The JSA’s Commissioner is David Turvey. He was appointed in October 2023.

The new board comprises tripartite partners and leaders with knowledge and experience of key workforce groups to help plan for the nation’s current and future skills, labour market and workforce needs.

The board’s strategic advice will also ensure that gender equality and the economic inclusion of First Nations people, Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people with disability are integral to JSA’s work.

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The appointees are:

  • Chair – Ms Cath Bowtell, an experienced board Chair and industry superannuation leader.
  • Deputy Chairs – Australian Industry Group, Centre for Education and Training Executive Director Ms Megan Lilly, and Assistant Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Mr Liam O’Brien.
  • State and Territory Representatives – Ms Lisa Healy from the Victorian Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions, and Ms Jodie Wallace from the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development.
  • Employer Organisation Representatives: Mr Luke Achterstraat, CEO of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia; Mr Bran Black, CEO of the Business Council of Australia; and Ms Natalie Heazlewood, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Director of Skills, Employment and Small Business.
  • Employee Organisation Representatives: Ms Annie Butler, Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation; Mr Andrew Dettmer, National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU); and Ms Correna Haythorpe, Federal President of the Australian Education Union.
  • Other members include the Executive Director of the Literacy for Life Foundation, Professor Jack Beetson, Professor Rae Cooper AO from Sydney University’s Australian Centre for Gender Equality and Inclusion @ Work, Ms El Gibbs from the Disability Advocacy Network Australia, and Lawyer, Human Rights Advocate, and TAFE Board Director Ms Nyadol Nyuon OAM.

Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Conner welcomed all the appointees.

“Their experience and insights will be invaluable as we work proactively together in the spirit of tripartism,” he said.

“The appointees all bring extensive experience, and I am confident they will execute their duties with impartiality and diligence.”

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