The Office of the Training Advocate was established as a State Government initiative in 2003 to complement the principles inherent in the Training and Skills Development Act 2003.
This role was designed to complement the Training and Skills Commission in raising the quality of and increasing community satisfaction with vocational education and training. This initiative was part of the State Government’s new times – new ways – new skills, the South Australian Workforce 2010: A Ten Point Plan for Action. A key role was to assist those who may have had little contact with the formal training environment.
Services were designed to be individually tailored to clients involved in or interested in training, including:
- apprentices, trainees and students (or parents/guardians)
- international students
- employers and employees
- training providers
On 9 November 2005, the Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education announced that the Office of the Training Advocate would expand its scope to encompass services for international students.
Review of the Training and Skills Development Act 2003
During a review of the Office of the Training Advocate in 2005 and throughout the review of the Training and Skills Development Act 2003 in 2007, clients and stakeholders indicated strong support for the Training Advocate's role to be strengthened and given greater independence within a legislative framework. As a result, the Training Advocate was given statutory recognition under the Training and Skills Development Act 2008. The new legislative framework means the Training Advocate is:
- appointed by the Governor under the terms and conditions specified in the Training and Skills Development Act 2008
- independent from regulatory systems and delivery of training
- responsible for carrying out functions described in a Charter authorised to request information necessary to resolve issues, and enter and inspect any premises.
Appointment of the Training Advocate
1 September 2008: Message from the Minister for Employment Training and Further Education on appointment of the Training Advocate
The South Australian Government’s Skills for the 21st Century strategy will ensure that our State’s training system is strategic, efficient, flexible and responsive. An important part of this strategy has been to establish the Training Advocate as an independent authority under the Training and Skills Development Act 2008.
The Training Advocate’s functions are detailed in its Charter. These functions include:
- assisting people considering training to make informed choices by helping them to understand their rights and responsibilities
- providing advocacy, independent complaints handling and investigation services in relation to the training system
- promoting the benefits of employment, education and training and the development of employment and skill formation policies and procedures
- contributing to strategies that raise the quality and responsiveness of the training system
- monitoring the training system and making recommendations for legislative change.
I encourage anyone seeking information or advice about the training system, or requiring assistance, to contact the Training Advocate.
Hon Paul Caica MP
Minister for Employment Training and Further Education