A new project mapping transport and logistic skills needs and competencies in the Asia Pacific region will boost global labour mobility, regional economic development and opportunities for Australian training providers to operate overseas.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham announced the project at the second Global Skills Training Forum, held today at Sydney TAFE, Ultimo campus.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Australian Government would provide $259,000 towards the new project under the APEC Economic Diplomacy Fund. This funding will develop regional occupational standards validated by industry representatives from the transport and logistics sector in Australia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

“Transport and logistics are central to global supply chains which connect Australia to the region and the world,” Minister Bishop said.

“The APEC Transport and Logistics project will provide businesses operating within and across these economies with greater understanding and certainty of the core skills required and held by workers in these occupations..

“This will help lift the standards of skills training across the region, make it easier for workers trained to these high standards to receive mutual recognition in other countries, address skills shortages, and boost competitiveness and productivity in regional economies including Australia.

“Importantly, this project also provides opportunities for Australian providers to deliver high quality, industry-relevant training to more students overseas.

Senator Birmingham told the Global Skills Forum there were already more than 200 registered Australian training providers able to deliver more than 2400 vocational education and training courses offshore.

“Australia is recognised around the world for the high quality and industry-relevant VET training it delivers - international education is Australia’s most successful services export, worth $16.3 billion in 2013-14, and supporting around 130,000 jobs across Australia.

“The Government has released the Draft Strategy for International Education which seeks to harness the potential for global skills development with the support of business, education and training providers, and students.

“By 2030 the global labour force is predicted to grow to around 3.5 billion and there is growing demand for intermediate and technical levels skills, which Australia is well placed to support.

“Having just returned from an overseas education mission to China and South Korea, I have seen first-hand the growing importance of vocational education and training on the international stage and where Australia can benefit,” Senator Birmingham said.

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