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Triangulation involves measurement from two separate points to pinpoint a location. Recent research released by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) plus OECD data is enough to pinpoint the challenge facing tertiary education coming out of the COVID hibernation.
By design or luck –the Morrison Government’s focus on careers development is well timed. As we contemplate coming out of COVID-19 the carnage in the labour market is difficult to ignore.
Wilfully throwing yourself over a cliff with only the safety of a rope tethered to something solid. That’s how I’d describe abseiling. I am hearing from TAFE leaders about staff venturing into new ways of teaching and training as the necessary response to social distancing forced to beat COVID-19. At first, they were apprehensive, fearing the unknown of teaching away from the relative comfort of the classroom.
I have been continually blown away by the sheer volume of work that TAFEs across the country have put in to ensure they continue to deliver for their students, communities, and partners. TAFEs are truly Open for Business, it’s just that they are now different to how they were before.
The Prime Minister last week raised the prospect of the other side. He was not proselytising his faith but more the task facing Australia in recovering from the massive economic impact from the COVID-19 hibernation strategy.
The virus reveals the fault lines in the economy in the same way earthquakes show the weak spots of buildings, roads and bridges. This was the advice last week from Adam Triggs of the ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy, about rebuilding the economy after COVID-19.
TAFEs are in the throes of preparing for a new future. As one CEO said at a board meeting of TDA this past week, VET and TAFEs are unlikely to be the same after this event.
In the normal course of events I would have been writing this piece on the way to the US where I was to attend the Centennial celebration of the American Association of Community Colleges. These are clearly not normal times.
Stick with me this week because you might think I’m completely off-topic. One of the advantages of monthly subscription to music services on smartphones is the ability to explore at little cost one’s eclectic taste. I suspect some revert to 70s and 80s music probably for the memories of a slimmer waistline, and an actual hairline.
Relax – breathe deep, loosen every muscle, sink into your inner soul. Roam in your mind for those thoughts that recur. Turn them and tumble them in your consciousness. Be alert to the one thing that keeps coming to you. Think through all the circumstances in your life when this thought was dominant. What events trigger that thought? What’s common in those events? Think deep. Hone those thoughts. Dissect and discern. Practice openness, it brings you a new perspective!
Welcome to the 2020 tertiary education year. I suspect many of us are returning with a different sense of priority after the calamities of our Australian summer – which is not yet over!