Driving Force For New Skills Authority Announced

12 October 2021

The Victorian Government has appointed Craig Robertson as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the new Victorian Skills Authority, which will steer the state’s post-secondary education sector into the future.

Mr Robertson has a strong background in social and economic policy at both the state and federal levels, with a focus on vocational education and training.

Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney also announced the Advisory Board, representing rich expertise and experience that will ensure Victoria’s training sector continues to meet the needs of jobseekers and industry.

The Advisory Board will be chaired by Lisa Line and set out a plan for the quality and relevance of Victoria’s world-class TAFE, training and higher education system through collaboration with community, industry and providers, providing independent advice to the Victorian Skills Authority (VSA) CEO and Government.

Among its first duties, the VSA will help prepare for Victoria’s clean future and net zero emissions by 2050, through the Clean Economy Jobs and Skills Taskforce. Led by Mr Robertson, the taskforce will develop a 10-year workforce strategy exploring renewable energy, circular economy practices and climate change adaptation.

The formation of the VSA was a key recommendation of the report handed down by former Federal Minister Jenny Macklin in her an independent review into Victoria’s vocational education and training system and was established as part of a $383.8 million investment in skills, training and higher education in the Victorian Budget 2021/22.

Since 2014, the Government has made a record $3.2 billion investment to rebuild TAFE and support universities and higher education to ensure Victorians have access to high quality education and rewarding careers.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“The Victorian Skills Authority is a game-changer for our post-secondary training system – it will drive innovation and provide skills-led solutions to our changing economy and help us bounce back from the pandemic.”

“Importantly, the Authority will work collaboratively across the sector – supported by the new Advisory Board which will provide vital sector and regional insights.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“This Taskforce will make sure we have the skills to meet the massive job opportunities created by our ambitious target to halve emissions by 2030, create a circular economy and drive investments in clean energy.”

Quote attributable to Victorian Skills Authority CEO Craig Robertson

“I am really excited to contribute to the community as the founding CEO of the Victorian Skills Authority – working alongside students, trainers and industry to create better opportunities for Victorians.”

Advisory Board of the Victorian Skills Authority

  • Lisa Line, skills and training expert (Chair)
  • Neville Atkinson, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association
  • Maria Peters, Adult, Community and Further Education Board
  • Rebecca Casson, Master Builders Victoria
  • Dr Susie Siew Yuen Ho, Monash University
  • Elaine Gillespie, Australian Education Union
  • Gavin Smith, Robert Bosch Australia
  • Lisa Fitzpatrick, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
  • Bill Hamill, Rural Industries Skill Training Centre
  • Luke Hilakari, Victorian Trades Hall Council
  • Emma King, Victorian Council for Social Service
  • Fiona MacDonald, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Des Powell, who has extensive TAFE, board and executive experience in the private and public sector
  • And ex-officio members Craig Robertson, VSA, and Lill Healy, Department of Education and Training.

Members of the Clean Economy Jobs and Skills Taskforce include:

  • Craig Robertson, Victorian Skills Authority (Chair)
  • Dr Anita Talberg, Clean Energy Council Amandine
  • Denis-Ryan, ClimateWorks Australia
  • Luke Menzel, Energy Efficiency Council
  • Andrew Petersen, Business Council of Sustainable Development Australia
  • Karen Cain, La Trobe Valley Authority
  • Pam Jonas, Victorian TAFE Association
  • Alex Newman, the Centre for U (Electrical Trades Union RTO)
  • Brendan Gould, Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association
  • Dr Colin Long, Victorian Trades Hall Council
  • Dylan Wight, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union
  • Glenn Menzies, Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union
  • Pawel Podolski, National Electrical and Communications Association
  • Dylan Broomfield, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Louise McGrath, AI Group
  • Alesha Printz, Engineers Australia.

Reviewed 12 October 2021

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