Victoria’s First Skills Commissioner Appointed

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on an $8 million election commitment to establish the Office of the Victorian Skills Commissioner.

Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert today announced Neil Coulson will become Victoria’s first Skills Commissioner during a visit to the Commissioner’s new office on Degraves Street in the CBD.

The role signals a new direction in how industry will engage with the training system. The Commissioner will work with industry, employee unions and government to ensure Victorians get the skills industry needs.

Mr Coulson has extensive experience working in industry and was the CEO of the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) from 2000 to 2007.

He has also held a number of other senior roles in industry including Chief of Australian Manufacturer Jacyo Corporation from 2007 to 2012 and was a member of the Victorian Learning and Employment Skills Commission between 2001 and 2004.

The Commissioner’s role is to work with industry to ensure that Victorian students get skills that will lead to real jobs and real productivity for industry and employers.

The Labor Government recognises the important role industry plays in the training sector and Mr Coulson will draw on his knowledge to advise government on how the training system can better support the economy and jobs by addressing skills shortages.

He will also advise Government on how it can meet workforce training needs and boost productivity for employers as well as analysing the training needs of existing and emerging industries.

The previous Liberal Government abolished the Victorian Skills Commission in 2012 to the detriment of our training system and students.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert

“It is with great pleasure that I announce Neil Coulson as Victoria’s first Skills Commissioner, someone who has extensive experience working with industry.”

“The Skills Commissioner comes after the former Liberal Government decimated industry engagement in the training system.”

“The Andrews Labor Government is investing in education, skills and training to transform Victoria into the Education State, giving all Victorians the opportunity to develop the skills they need for the jobs they want.”

Quotes attributable to Victorian Skills Commissioner Neil Coulson

“I look forward to championing the voice of industry in the training system and working with Government to make sure Victoria’s future workforce has the skills they need to get a job.”

“I’m committed to working with industry and employers to make sure the Government understands their training needs.”