Where is Australia’s long-term vocational excellence innovation policy? – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Where is Australia’s long-term vocational excellence innovation policy? – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Last week TDA’s TAFETalks hosted a fascinating exploration of the European Commission Centres of Vocational Excellence. One TAFETalk participant even said it was one of the best TDA TAFETalks yet! What can Australia learn from the Europe Commission’s Centres of Vocational Education Excellence to inform Australia’s much needed VET innovation policy?

Before the last national skills partnership, Australia invested in long term frameworks and strategies to facilitate innovation in VET. To be globally competitive Australia once again needs a VET innovation policy, one that goes beyond immediate simple solutions to one that allows the creativity in TAFEs to emerge with their partners to transform vocational education towards agile solutions. Our current approach favours rules and national portability over innovation and industry partnerships that are developed in local contexts.

Last Wednesday, TDA was joined by Boudewijn Grievink from the Netherlands, who is the coordinator of the communities of practice for the European Commission’s Centres of Vocational Excellence, and Ragnhild Skaalid from the European Commission from where the policy, governance and funding for these Centres of Vocational Excellence is driven.

Ragnhild told us that the European Commission has a goal for 100 Centres of Vocational Excellence to be funded between 2021 and 2027. Thirteen projects have been selected so far. The grants approved equal €46 million and 37 countries are participating in the approved projects which includes 331 participating organisations.

These projects include internationalisation of VET with some projects attracting partners from all over the world. All participating organisations include local industry partners. Each project receives funding for four years and this longer-term funding allows for relations to be developed appropriately over time.

Each project has a learner centred approach with a focus on teaching and learning. In that learner centred approach, vocational education institutions are co-creating solutions with industry partners and students.

Centres of Vocational Excellence have emerged because Europe realised the old ways were not able to rapidly adapt skills provision for how industry was changing, especially in “digital and green transitions” (Ragnhild Skaalid).

What marks these Centres of Vocational Excellence as different to anything happening in Australia is their local focus which allows the input and co-creation with diverse partners. As Ragnhild said, being “local is a new paradigm”. Local includes skills ecosystems that embrace goals of regionality, innovation and social inclusion. Centres of Vocational Excellence are encouraged to act local but think global.

That’s where the community of practice, explored by Boudewijn, comes in. Boudewijn coordinates a community of practice for all Centres of Vocational Excellence. He highlighted how various local projects draw on expertise in other parts of Europe.

He also outlined the deep dive sessions that occur with local industry partners to develop the learning design and decide the outcomes needed from the projects. He shared an impressive video where local businesses discussed the enormous value of the co-creation approach with vocational education organisations. He also talked about the importance of designing learning to meet the needs of each learner cohort and, in one example, stated that a podcast methodology was more appropriate for the upskilling of that workforce due to challenges of literacy and numeracy. This approach to finding the best solution for the learners and local context in a cocreation model was impressive.

Australia’s national skills partnership should enable strategies that foster innovation in vocational excellence. We must have a long-term vocational education innovation strategy that enables co-creation of solutions between providers and a multitude of partners, who are all able to influence the outcomes for specific learner cohorts and business needs.

It’s time for Australia to join with what is happening internationally. Australian vocational education must be able to act local and think global.

TAFE Opens Doors: a focused discussion on access and equity, May 31

We are excited to inform you that the program for our upcoming event, TAFE Opens Doors: A focused discussion on access and equity, is available to view here. As a service to members, TDA will be hosting this free online event on 31 May from 12-5pm AEST.

The program will provide an opportunity for your staff to engage with experts and peers.

We encourage you to register and lock this date in your calendars to ensure that you don’t miss out as recordings will not be made available after the event. Sessions have been designed for both educators and corporate professional staff. Certificates of attendance will be available to TDA members upon request.

Australia to reap the benefit of clean energy jobs, new report finds

The transition to a clean economy will have a more positive overall effect on jobs in Australia than for many other countries, according to the  World Economic Forum’s bi-annual Future of Jobs Report.

The report suggests that Australia will create more jobs than its global peers as part of the economy’s reduction in carbon intensity and waste in business operations.

The survey extends across 803 companies and represents 11.3 million employees across 45 regions.

Companies report that skills gaps and an inability to attract talent are the key barriers to transformation, showing a clear need for training and reskilling across industries. Six-in-ten workers will require training before 2027, but only half of employees are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities.

The fastest growing jobs are AI and machine learning specialists, sustainability specialists, business intelligence analysts and information security specialists. The largest absolute growth is expected in education, agriculture and digital commerce.

Ai Group Centre for Education and Training collaborated as the Australian survey partner for the report.

Read the full report and access Ai Group summaries of the findings and the Australian data summary here.

Tender opens for mentoring of new energy apprentices

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has issued a request for tender for the New Energy Apprenticeships Mentoring Program.

The tender seeks providers to deliver the mentoring program to support up to 10,000 new energy apprentices working in the clean energy sector.

Total funding of $14.4 million is available over four years. The program is expected to start in July and run to 2027. Applications close 23 May 2023.

To learn more visit AusTender.

From classroom to caregiving: Capecare and South Regional TAFE partnership

Capecare, the largest independent aged care provider in Western Australia’s Busselton area, has partnered with South Regional TAFE to deliver an intensive-start traineeship to attract new staff for existing and planned facilities.

The ageing demographic and regional location have contributed to labour shortages in the area, making it difficult to find people to take up traineeships. The traineeship involved completing a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing), and from 2020 to 2022, 24 trainees aged 19-59 years completed the course, with all gaining employment as carers upon completion.

Trainees spent their first semester at South Regional TAFE and completed Capecare’s induction program before progressing to onsite work-based learning.

See more

Cloud Skills for TAFE by Amazon Web Services

Don’t miss the three-part series by AWS Australia to learn more about cloud technology upskilling and careers in Australia, building upon TDA’s TAFETalks on “Closing the Digital Skills Gap”.

The next in this series is Part 2 which provides free on-demand resources for continued cloud learning. It will be held on Wednesday, 17 May at 3PM AEST. For more information, please click the link and view webinar details at the bottom of the page.  To register for any of the webinars, please complete this form.

Please be sure to read the form directions before submission. Note that on the first page of the form you will need to click “yes” and include your name and email in order for the AWS to be able to invite you to your preferred events. If you have questions, you can reach the AWS Skills to Jobs team at stj-anz@amazon.com.

Industry Boost – TAFE Dental Assistant Industry Currency Forum

Registrations are now open for the upcoming TAFE Dental Assistant industry currency forum. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to boost your industry currency.

The industry expert for the Dental Assistant forum Jill Ford, is President of the Dental Assistants Professional Association. Jill completed her TAE qualification and delivered Certificate III in Dental Assisting after developing an interest in education.

The association works to find pathways to encourage Dental Assistants to pursue their careers both in and out of the clinical dental practice with continuing professional development. Jill has been managing a dental traineeship program in TAFE for the past seven years and looks forward to discussing current industry practice and delivery of programs with TAFE educators.

The online forum will be held on Friday 16 June from 2pm to 4.30pm AEST for the registration fee $150 inc GST. Further details can be found at TAFE Industry Boost – VDC. All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance.  Register Now!

MYOB Education offering update

MYOB Education is discontinuing sales and support for its MYOB AccountRight Desktop software on 30 June 2023.

However, it is offering a fully cloud-based MYOB business management platform for free to education partners and students. Last year, 20,000 students successfully learned the MYOB Business SaaS platform, and in 2023, 9,200 students have already learned it year-to-date.

MYOB Education provides free training tools, resources, and publisher partner content to give students access to industry-relevant software and improve their business literacy.

Additionally, educators can become MYOB Business Certified, which counts towards professional development hours and awards a Credly badge. MYOB Education is committed to supporting educators and students with industry education.

To find out more, download their education brochure or contact Tricia Andrews or Shailan Patel directly.

Applications for the Global Footprints Scholarships opening soon

Applications for the Global Footprints Scholarship open May 12.

The program provides scholarships worth $8,000 each to gain global work experience in agriculture, horticulture or trades.

Applicants must be between 18 and 25 years old and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and passion for their work.

See details here

Diary Dates

VET Development Centre and TAFE Directors Australia
Industry Currency Forums – Online
May to June 2023
More information: Child Care, Electrical, Dental Assistant

TAFE Opens Doors: a focused discussion on access and equity
VET Development Centre and TAFE Directors Australia
Industry Currency Forums – Online
31 May 2023 Online 12 – 5pm AEST
Register here

Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT
2023 Skills Conference
14 June 2023
Dockside Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

TAFETalks: Innovations in Clean Energy
21 June, 2 pm AEST
Register here

Journal of Vocational Education and Training (JVET) Conference
13-15 July 2023
Keble College, Oxford, UK
More information

32nd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference ‘No Frills’
19-21 July 2023
RMIT University, Melbourne
More information

Victorian TAFE Association State Conference
26 – 28 July 2023 – save the date
Mildura, Victoria

National Apprentice Employment Network 2023 National Conference
‘New Skills for a New World’
15-17 August 2023
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
More information

VET National Teaching & Learning Conference 2023
‘From Competence to Excellence’
17-18 August 2023
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information

WorldSkills Australia National Championships and Skills Show
17-19 August 2023
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Victoria
More information

National Skills Week
‘What are you looking for?’
21-27 August 2023
More information

Australian International Education Conference
10-13 October
More information

VDC World Teachers’ Day Event
27 October 2023 – save the date

2023 National VET Conference
2-3 November 2023
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
More Information