The Western Australian Government has released the report on the Review of Skills, Training and Workforce Development with many of the key recommendations already announced and underway. Although the review has a strong focus on advancing public TAFE colleges, independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) benefit from measures including an injection of $57 million into the sector which lowers fees for more qualifications and delivers new fee-free short courses.
Key Issues —
On 21 May 2020, the Western Australian Premier and the Minister for Education and Training, Sue Ellery announced the establishment of an urgent review on skills, training and workforce development in response to Covid-19's impact on the workforce in Western Australia.
Ensuring that the review recognised that the heavy-lifting in delivering Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs across western Australia was undertaken by independent RTOs, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) engaged directly with those undertaking the review.
The report from the review, and the Western Australian Government’s response, has now been published and can be downloaded from the links below.
Key recommendations included a review of the current apprenticeship model to consider alternative models including dual and combination trades, options for front-ending apprenticeships with a theory block and utilising Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) more effectively. Other recommendations are set out below.
WA Skills Review ―
Key Reform Recommendations
Apprenticeships: Reform apprenticeships and traineeships to create trades for the future
Capital Works: Lift the number of apprentices and trainees employed through Government projects
Regional Development: Train locals and attract more skilled workers to the regions
Next Generation training: Repositioning sector capability to meet the needs of WA industry and community
Some measures to assist in the Western Australia recover from the Covid-19 pandemic includes an already announced $32 million to expand the lower fees, local skills program and $25 million to deliver fee free short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians.
ITECA Western Australia continues to engage with the state government given that it has a strong pro-TAFE focus, notwithstanding the fact that quality independent RTOs in the state support 73% of VET Students and achieve outcomes such as course completion, post-study employment and student satisfaction commensurate, or better than, public TAFE colleges.
“In the months ahead, ITECA Western Australia will continue to work with the Premier and Minister to ensure that the great outcomes delivered by independent RTOs is fully appreciated. This will position ITECA members to deliver key elements of the Western Australian Government’s skills agenda,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.
The Report also highlighted that the VET value proposition is not well understood. Impactful and multi–level messaging is needed to demonstrate the importance, diversity and income returns that are possible from the VET sector. A recommendation included the creation of a broad Government funded campaign to promote of the value of VET through a marketing campaign that effectively engages the community.
ITECA members will receive an exclusive member briefing on this review on 18 September 2020 to better understand what it means for independent RTOs. To register for this event please visit the link below.
The issue of work placements, which is a requirement for the completion of many courses (and likely to be for some skill sets), was raised as part of the Review. However, the Report only made one recommendation for creation of a work placement program for health and community services to be implemented by the Department of Training and Workforce Development, for both TAFEs and funded health training providers to address the barriers of securing student placements in the workplace. ITECA will continue to work at both with state and federal governments to push for a solution to this growing issue.
Getting Involved —
ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Western Australian State Committee. ITECA Membership – It's a great time to get involved.
Further Information —
If you're an ITECA member and would like more information on this matter, the ITECA team would value the opportunity to talk to you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1300 421 017. Stay up to date via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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