`Australia needs to engage actively with India`

Asian countries like India are hungry for skilled workers, Australia`s Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans has said.

Updated: Jul 12, 2012, 13:14 PM IST

Melbourne: Asian countries like India are hungry for skilled workers and Australia needs to engage more actively in providing vocational and educational training services in these nations, Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans has said.

Speaking at the Australia India Skills Conference in Perth recently, Evans said Asian countries were hungry for skilled workers and Australia needed to engage more actively in imparting Australian know-how in skills and training.

Evans said that vocational education had been a "very much on the agenda" at last week`s East Asia Summit in Indonesia.

"[There was] very much a focus for developing partnerships that went to things like qualification recognition, a focus on standards, quality assurance and labour mobility," he said.

"So wherever you go now, in a government-to-government discussion, vocational education and training is very much on the agenda."

Evans also admitted the federal government had been slow to see the opportunities.

"But it is the case that VET (Vocational and educational training services) is going to be a key area of engagement between Australia and various Asian countries, and particularly India."

Evans also pinpointed that India required to upskill 500 million people which was "one hell of a challenge".

"There`s an understanding that most of India`s training needs are going to have to be met in country and its going to have to establish training systems to allow that to happen," he said, adding that Australia was well placed to help India due to the "world-class" nature of the TAFE (Training and Further Education) sector.

The event was an initiative of Australia India Education Council which aims to foster innovation and collaboration in skills development between Australia and India by bringing together key players in the skills sectors of both countries.

PTI