Melbourne: Australia today assured its support to India in meeting the country's goal to upskill 500 million people by 2022, saying Australian training providers can help meet the skill development challenges.
The assurance came during a meeting between Union Minister of State for Skill Development Rajeev Pratap Rudy and Australian Assistant Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham.
"Today's meeting has helped build our bilateral skills relationship with India so we can seize emerging opportunities in both our countries," Birmingham said.
He said that international education is Australia's "most successful services export, worth AUD 16.3?billion in 2013-14, and supporting around 130,000 jobs across Australia."
"We are negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with India and piloting international training and assessment courses to upskill Indian trainers and assessors.
"We are also working to sign a Free Trade Agreement with India by the end of this year, with particular opportunities for service industries," Birmingham said.
In 2013-14, education related services with India made up AUD 1.5 billion of our services exports, Birmingham said.
He said the Australian government has developed internationally relevant training courses, benchmarked to an Australian standard.
"These have the potential to be used so Australian training providers can help meet India's skill challenges," he said.
"India has a goal to upskill 500 million of its people by 2022, requiring an estimated 70,000 highly skilled trainers now and 20,000 additional trainers each year," he said.
"To achieve this, India must address significant challenges, particularly in ensuring that training produces skills that are globally relevant, and that there is a sufficient supply of highly skilled trainers to deliver this," he said.
Birmingham said that Australia understands the importance of skills and training to "give people opportunity, secure prosperity for both nations and will continue to work to build these opportunities."
"We have also created international work opportunities for Australian undergraduate students through the Government's signature initiative, the New Colombo Plan.