Albert Coulston Evans AO

Albert Coulston Evans AO
2013
Recipient

Albert (Bert) Coulston Evans AO has provided distinguished service to industry and to the VET sector for over 30 years. During his time as Chief Executive of the Metal Trades Industry Association (MTIA) from 1981 to 1996, Bert worked tirelessly towards a more cooperative approach to managing business and union interests. Integral to his vision was a rebuilding of the manufacturing sector and the development of progressive industry policy which valued and invested in labour through training, career paths, fair pay and workplace regulation.

Albert (Bert) Coulston Evans AO has provided distinguished service to industry and to the VET sector for over 30 years. During his time as Chief Executive of the Metal Trades Industry Association (MTIA) from 1981 to 1996, Bert worked tirelessly towards a more cooperative approach to managing business and union interests. Integral to his vision was a rebuilding of the manufacturing sector and the development of progressive industry policy which valued and invested in labour through training, career paths, fair pay and workplace regulation.

Since his retirement from MTIA in 1996, Bert has used his extensive industry knowledge, credibility and standing within industry and government to lead reform of the New South Wales VET system. He has done this through two key roles, as Chair of the NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training (1996 to 2013), and as Chair of the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (1997 to 2011). A number of achievements in New South Wales under his guidance have set the benchmark for other states and territories.

Change is a constant force in the Australian economy, increasing demand for a skilled, innovative and adaptable workforce. Domestic and global competition, technological, social and demographic change continues to drive industrial and labour market restructuring. Bert has championed skills development in New South Wales to enable industry to prosper and individuals to benefit from economic growth.

During his tenure as Chair of the NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training and the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board, Bert established a strong industry oriented training system in New South Wales that has at its core a strong public training provider with values of high quality and access for all. Key achievements which to a very large degree result from Bert’s energy, understanding, insight, perspicacity and standing include:

  • establishing the training agenda as integral to Australian industrial relations
  • leading reform of apprenticeships and traineeships
  • expanding industry support for apprenticeships and traineeships
  • championing a strong VET in schools program
  • introducing concepts such as workforce development and skill ecosystem
  • regulating to achieve quality standards for training providers
  • increasing industry involvement in training and expanding the VET market.

Under Bert’s guidance, participation in VET in New South Wales has grown to record levels under greatly improved and strengthened arrangements.

Bert was honoured in 1984 when he was made a Member of the Order of Australia. He was further honoured in 1996 when he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In 1993 the Senate of the University of Sydney conferred upon him a Doctorate of Science in Economics (Honoris Causa). In July 2013 Bert was appointed the first New South Wales Apprenticeships Ambassador.

Download the Australian Training Awards fact sheet on Bert's achievements. Watch the video of Bert after receiving the award.