Training packages – are they delivering what was promised? – comment by Jenny Dodd

Training packages – are they delivering what was promised? – comment by Jenny Dodd

The title of my comment today is the same title I delivered at an ACPET conference in June 2014 – yes, seven years ago. At that conference I made two main points in relation to training packages: less prescription is needed, and one size does not fit all, especially at the higher levels of the AQF.

Let’s explore these two points, reflecting on the examples of TAFEs collaborating with industry that we focused on last week and we continue to focus on in today’s newsletter. Today we have added to the pool by profiling the award-winning industry collaborations from TAFE SA and Canberra Institute of Technology.

In 2014 in that speech, I stated that ‘that training packages are increasingly becoming more prescriptive thus denying students the opportunity to develop broad competence’. The proposed qualification reforms will ‘elevate from task to functional level’ and reduce the ‘atomised’ approach in training packages that often did not allow students to demonstrate their skills in the workplace.

Co-design will be encouraged. This opportunity to bring educator expertise into customising skills development solutions is exciting. As we have seen in the examples of TAFE collaboration, such models are tailored to meet specific needs, be they for an employer in a region or for an entire national industry.

This brings me to the second point I made in 2014 – one sized does not fit all. This is particularly important at the higher levels of the AQF. I wrote seven years ago ‘that training packages begin to diminish in value at these levels of the AQF’. Once a student is studying a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma, they should be able to be assessed in a holistic manner. Students need to have a vision beyond the immediate task to the reasons for and impact of what they are doing in the workplace. In building these new qualifications, especially at Diploma and Advanced Diploma levels, TAFEs know the importance of curriculum expertise.

Therefore, the proposed qualification reform environment will encourage collaboration and will enable co-design. Both will be underpinned by TAFE workforces who have teams who are not only able to use and adapt existing training packages, but who are also able to build bespoke curriculum to meet the specific needs of an industry partner.

Seven years has been a long time to wait for change. If the changes are accepted there will be many opportunities for industry led collaboratively designed training products.

Education and industry partnerships recognised in ACT and SA training awards

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and TAFE SA have been recognised in their recent territory and state training awards for collaborations with industry partners in emerging fields – renewable energy and defence industries.

TAFE SA partners with higher education and industry in digital technologies

TAFE SA values its relationships with industry partners and was thrilled to be recognised alongside Flinders University and BAE Systems Australia at the recent SA Training Awards.

The partner organisations received the Industry Collaboration Award for the Diploma of Digital Technologies.

The Diploma of Digital Technologies is a Higher Education qualification delivered by Flinders University, with TAFE SA providing vocational skills training.

The qualification is designed to further sovereign capability and encourage innovation to benefit the naval shipbuilding industry and the wider manufacturing sector.

The major aims of the program include equipping shipbuilding workers with skills required in a world-class digital shipyard and seeding the capability to drive Industry 4.0 enabled world-leading practices.

The program, commenced in 2020, builds the performance and competitiveness of small and medium enterprises and is growing the pipeline of capability into defence and related industries by upskilling STEM teachers.

While the defence industry has been a catalyst for the uptake of industry 4.0 technologies, the outcomes of the collaboration can be applied to other industries.

The collaboration has the potential to increase the number of students in STEM and encourage women into the engineering and defence sectors.

CIT Renewables Energy Skills Centre of Excellence wins ACT industry award

CIT, Neoen and Vestas have formed an innovative partnership through the establishment of the CIT Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence and the CIT Renewables Board.

The CIT Renewable Energy Industry collaboration is a joint approach to research and building sustainable networks and career pathways to fuel the jobs needed in this fast-growing global industry.

CIT’s state-of-the-art facility is a lifelike worksite that can safely accommodate different student groups simultaneously while they are undertaking a range of training activities.

Ilsa Stuart, Senior Manager Renewables at CIT highlighted the great career opportunities that exist in renewables with the sector experiencing strong jobs growth: “Renewable energy creates employment across a diverse range of occupations, led by trades and technicians, labourers and professionals such as project management, engineering, design and planning.

“We collectively have a passion for our industry and our climate and thrive in knowing that our collaboration provides a unique platform to share the exciting opportunities associated with the renewables industry with our local community, schools and colleges. We are demonstrating the technological, social and environmental benefits that flow from embracing renewable energy technology and training.”

Louis de Sambucy, Neoen’s Managing Director affirmed the value of the partnership: “The opportunities for collaboration with CIT and other local stakeholders have continued to evolve, with future areas of focus for collaboration with CIT including hydrogen, cyber security and indigenous training opportunities.

“Neoen considers that such collaborations are critical to the continued success and sustainability of our industry, and we look forward to continuing the successful relationship with CIT into the future.”

For more details about industry training in renewables at CIT click here.

To view a short video about CIT’s partnership with Vestas click here.

Microsoft Australia and TAFEs launch digital pilots

TDA Corporate Affiliate Microsoft Australia and four TAFEs are embarking on a series of digital pilots to align Microsoft skills to a variety of courses across different vocational training packages. Enabled by the Prodigy Learning 4 Stage Learning Pathway, students will take a skills assessment, complete self-paced learning modules, take a practice test and, finally, a certification exam. On successful completion students will earn a digital badge they can proudly display on LinkedIn; a powerful employability signal and differentiator.

These pilots will enable TAFE students to gain the most valuable and up to date workplace skills, for an economy already digitised, irrespective of the student’s background or the sector of the economy in which the student seeks to pursue their career ambitions.

On any given day, a simple search for the term “Microsoft” will return thousands of results in every job search engine. Everyone needs at least one, but most likely several, Microsoft skills to participate and flourish in the economy. As businesses of all sizes turn to digital tools to transform their operations, to compete and innovate, employers are favouring those with the skills to use these tools; in particular those who demonstrate competence with a certification. The pilots will not only impart these skills but importantly also impart confidence to participate in an economy already digitised. Technological transformation for an economy digitised is not a thing; it’s people.

The TAFEs leading these pilots are TasTAFE, Box Hill Institute, TAFE SA, and TAFE Queensland; to pilot skills as diverse as Word, Microsoft 365 Fundamentals, PowerPoint, Azure Fundamentals and Excel. The intent is for each pilot to explore how these certifications may be incorporated into the TAFE education and skill training experience, as much as to demonstrate the power of certification to boost student employability.

Microsoft, Prodigy Learning, and each TAFE will collate the results of the pilots for sharing across the TAFE community. Student competency will be measured before and after each pilot, along with gauging changes to confidence and overall perception of value. In addition, each TAFE is tracking the implementation experience to capture better practices for sharing across the TAFE community.

TDA and TAFEs are engaging closely with industry partners, such as Microsoft and Prodigy Learning, to enable all Australians the opportunity to share in economic prosperity and the social inclusion that flows from such participation. Over the coming weeks keep an eye out as we provide a detailed overview of each pilot, starting in next week’s TDA Newsletter with the TasTAFE Digital Pilot.

TAFEs share their experience with Vietnam

TAFE representatives and TDA are participating in a series of online meetings organised by the Vietnamese Government to exchange on international best practices in TVET in a rapidly changing environment.

The General Directorate of Vocational Training (DVET) at the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, is hosting a series of international meetings with Vietnam`s key TVET partners, such as Australia, Germany, the UK, the International Labour Organization and the International Organization for Migration, in partnership with the German and Australian embassies in Vietnam. The aim is to enable Vietnam to draw on international experience and identify relevant TVET policy recommendations.

The first meeting, on TVET responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, took place on  August 26, where TDA presented on capacity development for online learning. The second meeting on September 10 focused on international experiences in establishing high quality TVET centres. TAFE Queensland`s presentation on the TAFE and SkillsTech/Centre of Excellence models in Australia raised significant interest among Vietnamese participants. The third meeting, titled Promoting cooperation between Vietnamese and foreign TVET institutions, is planned for October and will showcase TAFE experience in training cooperation with Vietnam.

The first two meetings have been attended by over 200 participants, Vietnamese authorities and TVET providers as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation partners.

These exchanges will be followed by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment funded project on the Digital Transformation of TVET: Sharing of Lessons between Australia and Vietnam, to start on September 30.

For more information contact Ewa Filipiak, Director International Engagement, TDA

International students set to return to NSW

An initial group of 500 international students will return to NSW by the end of the year under a pilot program announced by the NSW government.

The phased return of fully vaccinated international students to NSW was given the green light by the Commonwealth.

Accommodation provider Scape will house the returning students for a 14-day quarantine in Redfern in premises approved by NSW Health and NSW Police.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade John Barilaro said the staggered return of students was the first stage of a pilot that would slowly expand as vaccination rates rise.

TAFE NSW, 11 universities and five private higher education providers are part of a group that will coordinate the student return.

An estimated 57,000 students are currently overseas and awaiting an opportunity to return.

TAFETalks: Register now for Wed 20 October 2021!

TDA is excited to announce upcoming events in the TAFETalks series.

Registration for these events is free! If you cannot attend the event live, register anyway and you will receive a link to the recording.

TAFETalks: Breaking down the barriers – the future of VET in Schools

Date: Wednesday 20 October at 2.00pm ADST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)
Duration: 1 hour
Guest speakers:

  • Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor Western Sydney University
  • Mr Steffen Faurby, Managing Director, TAFE NSW

Peter Shergold AC is a renowned Australian academic, company director, and former public servant. Peter has been the Chancellor of Western Sydney University since 2011. Peter Shergold has chaired and co-chaired two recent reports on education. These include Looking to the Future (2020) which was a review of senior secondary education pathways and In the Same Sentence (2021) on vocational education in NSW with David Gonski AC. Peter will reflect on outcomes and progress made since these reviews, particularly in the context of VET delivery in schools.

Steffen Faurby, Managing Director of TAFE NSW will provide information about TAFE NSW’s model working with schools. He will also explore TAFE NSW’s new Institutes of Applied Technology (IAT). IATs feature strong industry and tertiary educational partnerships to better respond to industry demand and emerging skills needs. IATs are blurring the boundaries between work and learning, and between higher education and vocational education.

Register here

And…for your diary

TAFETalksApprenticeships Part 1: Innovation and acceleration

Date: Wednesday 17 November at 2.00pm ADST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Description: This is the first part of a two-part series on apprenticeships. Join Dr Gavin Lind from Mining Skills Organisation Pilot and Michelle Hoad, Managing Director North Metroplitan TAFE in Western Australia to talk about innovation and acceleration of apprenticeships.

Register here

TAFETalksApprenticeships Part 2: Supporting students to complete

Date: Wednesday 1 December at 2.00pm ADST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Description: This is the second part of a two-part series on apprenticeships. Join the National Careers Institute (NCI), Dianne Dayhew, Ben Bardon, and Grant Dreher, CEO TasTAFE for an in-depth discussion on strategies for supporting students to improve apprenticeship completions.

Register here

TAFETalksMicro-credentials: developing with and for industry

Date: Wednesday 16 February at 2.00pm ADST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Description: Micro-credentials are on everyone’s lipsJoin renowned expert Beverley Olivier and representatives from TAFE Queensland and TAFE NSW to further your understanding of micro-credentials and how two leading TAFEs are working with industry to develop micro-credentials for their needs.

Register here

More free TAFE courses announced in Victoria

The Victorian government has expanded its Free TAFE initiative with seven new courses that will take the number of courses on offer to more than 60.

The Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney announced the new Free TAFE courses, comprising:

  • Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing
  • Certificate IV in Outdoor Leadership
  • Certificate IV in Leisure and Health
  • Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
  • Certificate III in Information Technology
  • Certificate III in Supply Chain Operations
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

The Free TAFE program began in 2019 and has seen some 90,000 students enrol.

A $163 million Skills for Economic Recovery package announced last year is expected to create up to 60,000 new training places over four years in Free TAFE courses.

NSC releases Australian jobs report

The National Skills Commission (NSC) has released its latest annual overview of the labour market, ‘Australian Jobs 2021’, which explains the impact of COVID on jobs, particularly for youth, and includes trends across states and territories.

National Skills Commissioner Adam Boyton said research and analysis for the report shows a broad shift to service industries, along with an increased emphasis on post-school qualifications from employers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the labour market and there is now more competition for certain jobs.

“Accordingly, it is more important than ever to understand what employers are looking for and to gain an understanding of the labour market that you are moving into.”

The report was written in collaboration with the National Careers Institute.

See Australian Jobs 2021

Federal government extends its VET promotion with NRL

The federal government has extended its partnership with the NRL through $1.1 million in funding to help raise the profile of VET careers.

The funds will extend support for the NRL’s CareerWise VET Pathways program until 2023.

The program which commenced in 2016 provides detailed career advice about VET including promoting the success stories of current and retired NRL players who have achieved great success after their playing days through their VET qualification.

The Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said the CareerWise program challenges perceptions of the VET sector, raises its status as an education pathway, and highlights the range of career opportunities available.

“Thousands of young Australians watch their favourite NRL and Women’s NRL stars on TV and at stadiums around the country every week. Making these sporting heroes synonymous with the success in their careers through a VET qualification is a great way to boost it in the minds of so many kids,” Mr Robert said.

There are 30 NRL players who are part of the Australian VET Alumni who promote VET career pathways.

Your views matters to NCVER

The NCVER is keen to hear from people across the VET sector through its customer survey which is open for feedback.

It’s been three years since NCVER last asked the community about experiences with their products, services and communications. They are keen to know what might have changed since then.

Your responses help NCVER to explore the right opportunities to improve the way they meet your information needs. The survey closes October 17.

Click here to complete the 15-minute survey

Last chance to contribute to VET workforce quality project

Today is the last chance to have your say on the consultation draft of the VET Workforce Quality Strategy.

The draft Strategy was informed by stakeholder feedback received earlier this year during consultations.

The feedback will assist in preparing the final version of the strategy.

Responses through the submission form are open until 5pm (AEST) today.

Diary Dates

Human Services Workforce Forum NT
27 September 2021
Register your interest in attending this event via the below links:
Training Organisations – 9.30am
Employers / Service Providers – 1.30pm

Education Reimagined: Preparing the workforce of tomorrow
28 September 2021
More information

Free online OctoberVET events

National Skills Commission
Training Product Similarity Research using innovative advanced techniques
11 October 2021
More information

Aotearoa New Zealand’s Reform of Vocational Education and Training (RoVE)TePūkenga (NZ Institute of Skills and Technology) aspirations and promises
13 October 2021
More information

Join the authors featured in the May 2021 edition of the Research Today magazine to hear more about their research
19 October 2021
More information

The relationship between migration to Australia and international education history and future directions
20 October 2021

Australian International Education Conference 2021
5 – 8 October 2021
Gold Coast & Online
More informationHuman Services Workforce Forum Melbourne
7 October 2021
Register your interest in attending this event via the below links:
Employers – 9.30am
Training Organisations – 1.30pmHuman Services Workforce Forum Sydney
14 October 2021
Register your interest in attending this event via the below links:
Employers / Service Providers – 9.30am
Training Organisations – 1.30pm

TAFETalks: Breaking down the barriers – the future of VET in Schools
TAFE Directors Australia
20 October 2021, 2.00 pm ADST

Human Services Workforce Forum Canberra
26 October 2021
Register your interest in attending this event via the below links:
Employers / Service Providers – 1.30pm (Online event)

Human Services Workforce Forum Canberra
27 October 2021
Register your interest in attending this event via the below links:
Training Organisations – 1.30pm (Online event)

TAFETalksApprenticeships Part 1: Innovation and acceleration
TAFE Directors Australia
17 November 2021, 2.00 pm ADST

Australian Training Awards
18 November 2021
Perth, Western Australia
More information
2021 VDC Virtual Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre
18 – 19 November 2021 (Online)
More information

TAFETalksApprenticeships Part 2: Supporting students to complete
TAFE Directors Australia
1 December 2021, 2.00 pm ADST

National Apprentice Employment Network
National Conference
15 – 17 March 2022
Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania
More information