JobKeeper Extension Discussions Continue

Date —

10 July 2020

Industry Sector/s —
Vocational Education & Training ◾ Higher Education ◾ International Education

Summary —

The latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) shows that when reviewing outcomes for trades apprentices and trainees, there has been little changes in key metrics on outcomes and levels of satisfaction in 2008, 2010 and 2019.  It's data that empowers the calls by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) for a greater investment in skills to power the economic recovery.

Key Issues —

As the Australian Government develops a long-term employment and training package to support the economic recovery, it’s clear that the heavy lifting in skills delivery will be undertaken by independent providers in the higher education, vocational education and training and skills sectors. It’s in this context that the extension of the JobKeeper payment through to 31 March 2020 is being pursued by ITECA.

ITECA’s discussions have highlighted the fact that in the vocational education and training sector will play a lead role in the economic recovery, it’s important that the capacity of the sector be retained – after all, independent RTOs support around 80% of the 4.1 million students in the sector.

The advice that ITECA has given to government references the feedback from members in the higher education sector is that although enrolments have been relatively robust for most providers, the delivery has been hampered by social distancing measures to contain the Covid-19 virus.

Using advice received from both ITECA members, and as a result of collaboration with English Australia, ITECA’s has advised the Australian Government that the decline in international student enrolments is particularly acute for the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sector. In any given year there are ≈180,000 students that undertake an English language program which may last from a few weeks to a year. As students with ELICOS providers complete the courses few replace them and, without a reopening of transnational boarders by end-2020, the sustainability of the ELICOS sector is questionable.

ITECA’s advocacy with the Prime Minister’s office, the Education Minister plus the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business has been augmented by other stakeholders such as English Australia.

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 Higher Education Reference Group and the  ITECA Vocational Education and Training Reference Group.  ITECA Membership - it's a great time to get involved.

Further Information —

For more information on this issue please send an email to covid19.response@iteca.edu.au or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter @ITECAust or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/ITECAust.


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