The COAG Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) was established in September 2011. SCOTESE has high-level policy responsibility for the national tertiary education, skills and employment system, including strategic policy, priority setting, planning and performance, and key cross-sectoral issues.
On 13 February 2011, COAG agreed to a new Council System consisting of Standing Councils, Select Councils and Legislative and Governance Fora. SCOTESE is one of 12 Standing Councils to be established as part of the new COAG Council System to support COAG. For further information on the new COAG Council System please see the COAG website: www.coag.gov.au
Responsibilities and Functions
The purpose of SCOTESE is to ensure that Australia’s current and future workforce needs are met through increased participation, educational attainment, skills development and skills use to achieve greater productivity.
The Council has high-level policy responsibility for:
- Higher education;
- Vocational education and training (VET), including skills and workforce development;
- International education;
- Adult and community education; and
The Council’s priority issues are:
- Ensuring high quality tertiary education and training through strengthening of regulatory arrangements in the tertiary education and training sectors and promoting a sustainable and competitive international education sector;
- Establishing a national tertiary education and training framework that drives responsiveness to labour market needs;
- Developing a coordinated approach to meet the needs of disadvantaged and equity groups including through alignment of employment, skills and support services;
- Developing leading workforce development strategies that are cognisant of and coherent with skills utilisation and skilled migration policy in order to meet current and future critical skills needs; and
- Enhancing national research, analysis, data and information provision on tertiary education and training.
In addition, the Council will pursue the following COAG strategic themes as its major focus areas:
- Long-Term Strategy for Participation
- A National Economy driven by our Competitive Advantages
- Closing the Gap for Indigenous Australians.
For further information on the responsibilities and functions of SCOTESE, please view its Terms of Reference, agreed by COAG.
Membership of SCOTESE comprises Commonwealth, State, Territory and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for tertiary education, skills and employment. SCOTESE is chaired by the member who represents the Commonwealth.
Current membership is as follows:
|Commonwealth||The Hon Craig Emerson, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research||Permanent Chair|
|New South Wales||The Hon Adrian Piccoli, Minister for Education||Member|
|Victoria||The Hon Peter Hall, Minister for Higher Education and Skills||Member|
|Queensland||The Hon John-Paul Langbroek, Minister for Education, Training and Employment||Member|
|Western Australia||The Hon Terry Redman, Minister for Training and Workforce Development||Member|
|The Hon Peter Collier, Minister for Education||Member|
|South Australia||The Hon Grace Portolesi, Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy||Member|
|Tasmania||The Hon Nick McKim, Minister for Education and Skills||Member|
|Australian Capital Territory||The Hon Joy Burch, Minister for Education and Training||Member|
|Northern Territory||The Hon David Tollner, Minister for Employment and Training||Member|
|New Zealand||The Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment||Member|
SCOTESE meets at least once a year and business is also conducted by correspondence and the out-of-session process. Video and teleconferencing options are also available if necessary. The Council may also meet in conjunction or jointly with the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC) or other Standing and Select Councils, as required, on cross-sectoral issues.
The locations of meetings are agreed on a rotational basis.
In 2013, SCOTESE will meet as follows:
- 7 June
- 22 November
SCOTESE governance structure and support
Secretary to SCOTESE, NSOC & Head of NATESE - Sharon Robertson
SCOTESE is supported by a number of committees, councils and groups.
The National Senior Officials Committee (NSOC) is the administrative arm of SCOTESE and is responsible for:
- supporting SCOTESE
- implementing SCOTESE’s decisions
- driving national collaboration on tertiary education, skills and employment matters
- monitoring the effectiveness of the national tertiary education, skills and employment system
Membership of NSOC is comprised of Chief Executive Officers of the Commonwealth, State, Territory and New Zealand Government Departments responsible for tertiary education, skills and employment. The Committee is chaired by the Commonwealth and meets at least four times a year.
SCOTESE, through NSOC, is supported by four Principal Committees that lead activity in the following key areas:
- Access and Participation
- Data and Performance Measurement
- Tertiary Education, Quality and Pathways
- Workforce Development, Supply and Demand
The SCOTESE Secretariat provides high level support to SCOTESE and to NSOC. It is a key unit within the National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE), which provides policy and secretariat support across the SCOTESE governance structure.
All communications with SCOTESE should be directed through the SCOTESE Secretariat, via email or post. Where communication is directed to the SCOTESE Chair, a copy should be forwarded to the SCOTESE Secretariat, for information and record keeping purposes.
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