These continue to be unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting lives and livelihoods. TAFE leaders are playing their part in ensuring their institutions, teachers/staff and students continue to be connected and adapting to new ways of learning.

TAFEs around Australia have been collaborating regarding education delivery, engaging with peak industry bodies to prioritise learning, and working with quality standards bodies in the development of the alternative delivery models.

These web pages bring together how TAFEs are responding to the COVID-19 environment. In the spirit of collaboration and ongoing learning we welcome your feedback at communications@tda.edu.au.

TAFEs at work - adapting and transforming

Supporting women with training and employment opportunities – Victoria University Polytechnic

Research shows that women are increasingly at risk of homelessness and financial hardship as they get older. Women from diverse backgrounds are often excluded from the workforce due to caring responsibilities, time out of the workforce and being unable to find suitable work for their existing skills. VU Polytechnic and WomenCan Australia have teamed up for a unique solution.

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Infection control skill sets: free training – Wodonga TAFE

As Victoria emerges from the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, businesses and workers need to ensure they can safely reopen and engage with customers. All Victorian TAFEs are now offering free infection control skill sets* for eligible employees. The areas targeted include food handling, retail and transport and logistics.

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Adelady visits TAFE SA Tonsley – TAFE SA

Recently Adelady visited TAFE SA Tonsley and spoke to female apprentices. Currently, women represent less than three percent of the workforce in trades across the country.
TAFE SA is striving to increase diversity within the trade workforce by showcasing the vast opportunities in this sector to women of all backgrounds and stages of their career journeys. Watch the segment on YouTube.

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Carpentry and joinery teachers team up to provide consistent training for apprentices – TasTAFE

A significant challenge during COVID-19 has been to keep apprentices engaged and learning especially those with a large proportion of practical training. TasTAFE teachers from across the state have collaborated to convert theory elements of the carpentry and joinery courses to the digital environment.
One of the great outcomes of the collaboration has been the opportunity to provide a more consistent experience for apprentices state-wide.

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Comments from TAFEs

Message from Janelle Chapman, Executive Director, TAFE Queensland International

Janelle Chapman is the lead for all international business activities for TAFE Queensland, the largest VET provider in Queensland. With more than 30 years of experience in VET, Janelle is a strong advocate for the TAFE sector. She is also the Vice President of the International Education Association of Australia which represents all providers for international students. In this video Janelle highlights some of the great work that is being done in Queensland to support international students.

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Message from Jenny Dodd, CEO of TasTAFE

Jenny Dodd has been the CEO of TasTAFE for over two years and previously worked at TAFE Queensland and the Canberra Institute of Technology. In this video Jenny shares some insights on how TasTAFE staff have been re-thinking how they deliver and work together to meet the challenges of the new COVID-19 environment.

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Students responding to COVID-19

TAFEs working with business and industry

TAFE NSW accelerates Volvo apprentices

With increased government funding for apprenticeships and traineeships in response to the COVID-19 recovery, timing is right for employers and TAFEs to work together and increase the number of apprentices and trainees. For example, TAFE NSW has recently partnered with MSX International as the national training provider for Volvo apprentices.

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Wildfire awareness course to help protect local communities – TAFE NSW National Centre for Emergency Management Studies

With climate change our summers are likely to become hotter and drier as experienced during last year’s horror fire season. TAFE NSW has developed a wildfire awareness course with the Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council. It is the minimum qualification for personnel who support firefighters on the frontline, including police, ambulance officers, wildlife carers, media liaison personnel, first aid officers, utility company employees and campground hosts.

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Brewing leads to business – TAFE SA

Two of TAFE SA’s brewing graduates run Adelaide indie brewery, The Suburban Brew, which opened in early September. TAFE provided the chance for the graduate entrepreneur to change careers and follow his passion and meet his future business partner.

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Keep your business safe – TAFE Queensland

TAFE Queensland has developed a range of solutions for businesses that will help keep employees and customers safe from COVID-19 outbreaks. Inclusion of training in business COVID Safe or workplace health and safety plans will help them become a COVID Safe organisation. Skill sets and micro-credentials are on offer to upskill the workforce, safeguarding them and customers against COVID-19

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A skills-led recovery plan for travel and tourism – TAFE NSW

In 2018–19, tourism contributed $60.8 billion to Australian GDP and provided jobs for more than 5% of the national workforce (666,000 people). The tourism sector has been hit harder than most other industries by the COVID-19 crisis, and skills training will play a large role in preparing businesses for a post-pandemic environment.

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2020 Australia’s STEM Workforce Report

STEM occupations are traditionally associated with higher education, but did you know that more STEM workers in Australia possess a VET qualification than a university degree?
The Australian Chief Scientist’s STEM Workforce Report reveals that out of 11.5 million workers in 2016, 10% had a VET STEM qualification and 6% had a university STEM qualification.

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VET sector encouraged to partner with employers on tech skills

COVID-19 has resulted in much of vocational education and training (VET) teaching being delivered online. At the same time VET providers are being urged to collaborate with employers to equip workers with skills to deal with increasingly digitised industries.
The recommendation comes from new ‘good practice guides’ released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), which are designed to ensure training providers are delivering relevant content to future workers.

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Understanding the return on investment from TVET

As policymakers look to options for stimulating the economy and ensuring that local communities recover well after the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the return on investment (ROI) in technical and vocational education and training will be particularly important. It is also vital for publicly funded VET institutions to understand the ROI as they advocate for increased funding.

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Looking to the future

MICHAEL KEATING: The Prime Minister’s reform agenda for skills

Michael Keating is a former Secretary of the Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Finance and Employment, and Industrial Relations. He was also a member of the Boards of Skills Australia, the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency and the South Australian Training and Skills Commission, and he has led separate reviews of the VET systems in NSW and SA. He is presently a visiting fellow at the Australian National University.

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FRANCESCA BEDDIE: Tertiary education after COVID-19

Francesca Beddie, former General Manager for Research at NCVER and now tertiary education commentator writes about the impact of COVID-19 on tertiary education in Australia and calls for fairer arrangements between universities and vocational education.

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