In collaboration with the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) organized a roundtable on “Enhancing Health Workforce Training and Skill Pathways” on August 21st, 2023. The event featured essential participants, including Mr. Mark Butler, MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, Government of Australia, alongside Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, MSDE, Government of India.
Secretary MSDE, Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, warmly welcomed Mr. Mark Butler, MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, Government of Australia and his team for the Roundtable Discussion. He shared recent advancements in the skill ecosystem, including the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) established under the 2021 National Education Policy. This framework aims to align education and skills, facilitating student mobility. He addressed the global healthcare workforce shortage and India’s efforts to bridge it through skill development and the approval of 157 new nursing colleges by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Stressing the growing need for skilled professionals worldwide, Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari highlighted the urgency of addressing assessment costs and expediting citizenship processes for Health Sector workers in Australia. To foster collaboration, he proposed a scholarship program for Indian workforce training in Australia.
The Secretary of MSDE highlighted the importance of fostering a strong partnership through intensified collaboration in skill development. This collaboration would involve sharing content, eliminating obstacles to international mobility, and streamlining time and costs for skilled Indian professionals.
Mr. Mark Butler, MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, Government of Australia, commended India’s effective G20 presidency and emphasized its significant global role. He noted that the Indian Diaspora plays a crucial role in the Australian economy, with approximately 1 in 25 individuals in Australia being of Indian origin. Mr. Mark Butler highlighted strengthening bilateral relations due to reciprocal visits of both nations’ leaders and ministers. Acknowledging the shortage of healthcare professionals in Australia, he expressed his commitment to enhancing mobility for Indian healthcare professionals. Mr. Mark Butler praised the Secretary of MSDE for producing qualified healthcare professionals while expressing concerns about Australia’s post-COVID-19 situation and the need for healthcare preparedness. In light of this, he requested an increased, skilled healthcare workforce from India to meet Australia’s demands.
The roundtable brought together key Indian ministries – Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Commerce, and External Affairs – along with NSDC, Health Care Sector Skill Council, and the Australian High Commission representatives. Australian Government participation included DHAC, the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Education, and Austrade. Industry bodies and private sector entities like CII, ApolloMed Skills, and Lourde Academy also contributed, enhancing the discussions.
The roundtable featured comprehensive presentations from India and Australia, deliberating on the demand for healthcare and care workers in both countries’ potential to emerge as a preferred source of skilled talent for this sector.
The roundtable delved into comprehensive strategies to translate ideas into actionable outcomes, including cost-effective testing models, dual language assessments, streamlined skill migration procedures, and customized courses for the Australian health sector. The focus on qualification recognition eased visa processes, and incentives for recruitment agencies were evident. This commitment is reflected in the roundtable’s role as a pivotal platform for advancing health workforce training and skill pathways collaboratively.
The dynamic prospects for Indian professionals in Australia’s healthcare sector offer a promising chance to enhance bilateral relations. The roundtable injected momentum by facilitating transparent idea exchange, leveraging expert insights for mutual growth.