#POWEROFTAFE – The COVID Story, a new publication from TAFE Directors Australia (TDA)

Australian TAFEs have shown their responsiveness, resilience and innovation during the global COVID-19 pandemic, a new publication from TAFE Directors Australia (TDA shows). TDA surveyed TAFEs in the latter half of the year to understand their journey through COVID-19. The result is The Power of TAFE: The COVID Story which describes the rapid and structured transformation that TAFEs underwent during 2020 in response to COVID-19. It documents the approaches adopted by TAFEs – how students coped and how staff adapted. The scale of the digital transformation was unprecedented.

As Australia now starts the long haul to full economic recovery and pursue new areas of economic activity, the skills and capabilities of Australians need to follow. New demand will need new responses.

Businesses have adapted their operating models to use technology more effectively. Consumers will buy more online. Students will demand easier online access to learning and teachers.

The extent to which TAFE business partners take up this new form of digital learning, and Australian industry embraces new ways that competency can be acquired, will determine the acceleration of the change across vocational and higher education in Australia.

The expectations of students and the new-found confidence of teachers to embed technology in their teaching and student engagement points to new operating models.

Paradoxically, effective learning is a social endeavour. The rhythm of class schedules, the dynamics of group learning and the power of the community of learners pushing all to succeed is likely to remain a strong feature of successful learning. Attendance on campus helps overcome isolation for many students.

COVID-19 will give rise to new dimensions of learning and engaging with students and business. Online courses have brought more people into a learning journey and this will need to continue as a buttress against the economic restructuring that will flow from the COVID experience.

TAFEs across Australia, operating on behalf of their governments and working as a network across Australia, have proven capable of pivoting to new priorities. They will be the bedrock for a skills-led recovery.

Take time to read the electronic publication. The rapid-fire change is truly remarkable, as are the teachers and leaders who can be so proud of their achievement in 2020.
Truly the POWER OF TAFE.