Timothy Burt: Policy Manager, Workforce Skills - Business NSW 

12 May, 2020

Many of our Registered Training Organisation (RTO) members have been telling us how challenging it is to continue to meet payment milestones under the NSW Smart and Skilled program during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in instances where an assessment can only be conducted face-to-face in a workplace.

This has resulted in significant reductions in revenue payments and created extremely challenging conditions. Therefore, it's refreshing to learn the NSW Government has written to Smart and Skilled training providers offering an advance payments option for the remainder of the 2019-20 financial year.

For those RTOs experiencing financial hardship these advance payments should help maintain cash flow and retain valuable training and assessment staff.

The Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector helps people develop many of the skills recently identified as belonging to ‘essential workers’ – for example, in construction, health, retail and aged care.

Going forward, we will depend on the VET sector to train even more of these essential workers.

Post-pandemic, a strong and flexible VET sector will play a critical role in increasing workforce participation through greater skills development.

Access to training and education will be pivotal in ensuring that businesses have access to a workforce with the skills and knowledge required to help NSW bounce back to economic prosperity.

While there will be plenty of opportunities to undertake free online training, there will be a need for even greater access to high quality face-to-face training that the VET sector can provide.

It is extremely encouraging to see the NSW Government doing everything it can to ensure that training providers survive this crisis.

Please contact if you have any feedback on the new payment structure.

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