To strengthen the state’s skills system and ensure its alignment with workforce needs, the Malinauskas Labor Government has announced the appointment of Cameron Baker as the new South Australian Skills Commissioner. Following a nationwide recruitment process, Mr. Baker emerged as the ideal candidate for the role, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise.
Cameron Baker, who will commence his five-year term in July, succeeds the inaugural commissioner, Renee Hindmarsh. Ms. Hindmarsh made the difficult decision to step down from her role due to personal reasons that necessitated her relocation to another state.
Mr Baker’s professional background is extensive, primarily focused on senior executive and advisory positions in higher education and the skills sector. He has made significant contributions in Victoria and on a national scale. Currently serving as a senior consultant in skills and labour for the National Transport Commission, he has played an instrumental role in developing strategies to increase apprenticeships and traineeships, with a particular emphasis on providing opportunities to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.
Before his current role, Mr. Baker spearheaded the establishment of Apprenticeships Victoria and successfully led a team dedicated to expanding access to apprenticeships and traineeships. During his tenure as the Director and Acting Skills Commissioner of the Victorian Skills Commission, he gained invaluable experience and insights into optimising the skills sector’s performance.
The SA Skills Commission, established in 2021, has been instrumental in driving flexibility and improving the navigability of South Australia’s skills system. By fostering robust industry engagement, the Commission ensures that the skills delivered align closely with the demands of the workforce. It also acts as an advisory body, providing crucial guidance on the performance of the skills sector.
In addition to Cameron Baker’s appointment as the new Skills Commissioner, the government has announced the appointment of several individuals who will serve on the Skills Commission for a two-year term. The diverse backgrounds and expertise of these appointees aim to enhance the Commission’s effectiveness in addressing the needs of various industries.
The appointees include:
- Helen Gibbons, Director (Early Childhood Education) at the United Workers Union
- Louise Nobes, CEO of KIK Innovation
- John Chapman, former Small Business Commissioner
- Leonie Boothby, CEO of Regional Development Australia Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains
- Andy Keough, Managing Director of SAAB Australia
- Ian Horne, CEO of the Australian Hotels Association
- Michael Luchich, State and Territory Director (SA and NT) at Optus
- Adrienne Nieuwenhuis, Commissioner at the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
- Stuart Gordon, SA Assistant Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
- Robyn Verrall, Southeast farmer and founder of Bully’s Meat, was also honoured as the 2022 SA AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Winner
The collective expertise of these individuals will contribute significantly to shaping the future of South Australia’s skills sector, ensuring it remains adaptable, responsive, and tailored to meet the evolving demands of the workforce. With Cameron Baker at the helm as the new Skills Commissioner, South Australia is poised to make great strides in enhancing the accessibility and effectiveness of its skills system, ultimately bolstering the state’s economy and driving its prosperity.