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From the Desk of the CEO – February 2019 Newsletter Address

We have kick-started the third year of activity at Sustainable Skills and we are excited about all the business opportunities currently in the pipeline.

Our teams of Sustainable Skills TVET experts are doing a fantastic job working on two crucial projects: the Head of School Skill Development Program in Fiji  and the Due Diligence and Technical Evaluations Program in Uganda.

We are now focussing our efforts on a number of potential projects  in countries, such as Indonesia and Vietnam, which are looking at the Australian TVET model as their preferred choice to set up effective national vocational education systems.

In August 2018 in Hanoi, during the Vietnam Renewable Energy Week, I met with Nguy Thi Khanhmain, Executive Director of Vietnam’s Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID), a Vietnamese not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable development for the citizens of Vietnam and the larger Mekong region that is based on green and innovative technologies and methods and improved governance of the environment and natural resources.

Ms Khan is one of the founders of GreenID as well as an environmental activist, who has been working for the socially just development of Vietnam and Southeast Asia for almost 20 years. She has recently been awarded the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize – the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists – for her work to push Vietnam’s energy transition. She started working with indigenous communities in the mountains area of Vietnam, focussing mainly on local development and women’s empowerment before diving into energy development and advocating for a more participatory approach around hydropower development in the Mekong region.

GreenID works to achieve fundamental change in the approach to sustainable development by promoting the transition to a sustainable energy system, good environmental governance and inclusive decision processes.

In the last few years, GreenID has carried out many in-depth analysis of Vietnam’s energy system in various aspects aimed at the sustainable development of the energy industry. The aspects analyzed include the development of coal and the effects of this type of energy on the environment, air and human health.

Focussing on the potential of saving and using energy efficiency by households, industry, and power plants, GreenID has introduced some initiative about renewable energy, both domestic and international, to apply in Vietnam’s situation. At the community level, GreenID is implementing decentralized renewable energy solutions that take advantage of available local energy resources to replace harmful energy resources such as coal and oil. In the context of Vietnam’s import of coal for future power generation, green solutions not only reduce health impacts, but also reduce dependence on imported energy and even create opportunities for employment and a new growth model for the Vietnamese economy.

In this scenario, we are exploring how Sustainable Skills can assist GreenID in the development and execution of a training strategy to effectively build local skills in the renewable energy sector.

This month, we’ve launched an amazing opportunity to help you starting your next course by offering 20% off all resource kits, learning and assessment resources, and foundation skills assessment kits suitable to train and assess workers in the Resources and Civil Construction industries.

Don’t miss out on this chance, the offer ends on 4 March at 11:59pm.

 

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From the Desk of the CEO – December 2018 Newsletter Address

Welcome to the last newsletter of the year 2018 before we break for  two weeks Christmas holiday. I would like to take this opportunity to retrace the last two years of activity, since the SkillsDMC Board determined to remodel SkillsDMC into Sustainable Skills, a not-for-profit international consultancy that develops, supports and assists effective technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems worldwide.

Our first year of activity was focussed on exploring and developing new business opportunities across different areas, building a team of highly qualified TVET consultants, and recruiting board directors able to reflect the new scope of our business across a broad range of industrial sectors worldwide. In 2017, a significant milestone was achieved as we have been officially awarded a two-year consultancy contract sponsored by the World Bank to address skills imbalances and shortages in Uganda. The client of the contract is the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and this is the first non Australian government contract in the history of Sustainable Skills/SkillsDMC.

Thanks to these strong foundations, the second year of activity saw us concentrating our resources on regions where Sustainable Skills expertise and background can effectively assist to build TVET systems able to meet the nation’s needs, like Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Sustainable Skills has developed a strong position in Indonesia where an important reform of the vocational education system to support the needs of a rapidly emerging economy by improving the quality and competitiveness of his country’s human resources is a priority on the government agenda. As part of the national TVET reform, Indonesia is establishing a new national TVET Centre of Excellence to address the fundamental mismatch between training outcomes and industry needs. The Centre is in the design phase of determining how it can influence better outcomes. Sustainable Skills is helping the Indonesian Government to explore how the Centre can influence the broader national TVET system and develop the skills needed to support students in finding the ‘right training’ at the ‘right time’ for the ‘right job’.

The Centre will be established at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) based at Bandung and Universitas Negeri Padang (UNP). UPI, in December, sent a delegation to Australia to learn how an industry engaged TVET system works. I’m pictured with the delegation and Bob Paton, one of our TVET experts. I also visited UNP in December at the request of the Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education.

 

 

Another important achievement was accomplished In November, when we signed a contract with Coffey International Development to deliver a ‘Head of School’ Skills Development Program for the Fijian Government, Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA). Funded by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the program aims to develop the skills and abilities of current and future school heads to provide excellent leadership and management for all schools, with the vision of developing leadership in schools which is dynamic and works effectively in a complex, changing environment.

I would like to thank all the Sustainable Skills team for the commitment to the organisation, our local and international consultants, our Board for their support and trust, and all our stakeholders and partners who followed and supported us over the course of this year.

Sustainable Skills will shut down operations over the Christmas and New Year period. Our last day of work will be Friday 21st December and returning to work on Monday 7th January. The Sustainable Skills team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019.

 

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TVET in Fiji

An overview of the TVET system in Fiji

Country overview

The Republic of Fiji is a group of over 300 islands with a population of 900,000 people, a GDP of 9,700 USD per capita, and a growth of 3.6 per cent in 2018. Its major languages are English, Fijian and Hindi and its major religions are Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.

After nearly a century as a British colony, Fiji became independent in 1970 and adopted a parliamentary democracy form of government, currently led by Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, who was recently confirmed through general elections held on 14 November 2018.

Tourism plays an important role in the local economy, with number of visitors reaching 842,884 in 2017, and Australian tourists accounting for over 43 per cent of visitor arrivals during this period, followed by New Zealand (21.9 per cent) and the US (9.6 per cent). Largely driven by the tourism industry, service sectors continue to grow strongly, and along with construction, manufacturing and retail activity, are the main drivers of growth.

Water, gold, garments, sugar and fish continue to be Fiji’s strongest merchandise exports. Agriculture is a source of income for the bulk of the population and continues to make a moderate contribution to growth.

TVET system

Education is an important item on the Government agenda, which aims to make Fiji a knowledge-based society. TVET is given particular attention in these prescriptions, and is acknowledged as a cornerstone of reform in the educational sector and as a means of supporting sustainable development. The new constitution enshrines the citizen’s right to early childhood, primary, secondary, and further education.

Education in Fiji rests on a typical four level framework of early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education. There are nearly 900 schools and over 700 kindergartens in the country. Tertiary education, usually referred to as higher education in Fiji, covers TVET and university streams. Provision here is by government, private for profit, enterprise and civil society including faith-based institutions.

The post-school education and training sector in Fiji includes:

  • one public university (Fiji National University);
  • one private university (University of Fiji);
  • two regional institutions (University of South Pacific and Australia-Pacific Technical College);
  • 20 theological colleges;
  • a range of training centres run by line Ministries;
  • a regulatory body (The Fiji Higher Education Commission); and
  • nearly 50 private training providers, of which 27 have been identified as TVET providers.

The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) is a regional TVET provider, initiated and funded by the Australia government. It is headquartered in Nadi, and has campuses across the region including in Fiji. The college offers a range of programs at the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) levels 3 to 5 from its two schools: School of Trades and Technology; and School of Hospitality and Community Services.

The Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) reports to the Minister for Education, and has an overview and quality assurance function for the whole of the post-school education and training sector, of which the TVET sector forms a part, alongside the higher education sector. It has responsibility for the development of the Fiji Qualifications Framework (FQF), the recognition and registration of training providers and the accreditation of courses qualification levels are those of the Fiji Qualifications Framework (FQF).

Australia and Fiji bilateral relations

Australia and Fiji share a strong and enduring bilateral relationship and have extensive people-to-people links, with around 3,000 Australians resident in Fiji and 71,800 Fiji-born people living in Australia. Australia is one of Fiji’s largest trade and investment partners. Two-way goods and services trade has been steadily increasing year-on-year, totalling $2.05 billion in 2017.

Australia and Fiji work closely together in multilateral forums as fellow members of the UN, World Trade Organization, Commonwealth and Pacific Islands Forum. The Australian Government works in close partnership with the Fijian Government and key stakeholders to deliver its aid program to support inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty.

The Fiji Program Support Facility was established in 2017 to administer the education, health and scholarship programs in Fiji (and the scholarship program in Tuvalu). This support represents an investment of AUD66 million over five years (2017-2021), one-third of Australia’s bilateral aid for Fiji. The Facility, managed by Coffey on behalf of the Australian Government, also supports the integration of crosscutting issues into programs, such as gender equality, civil society engagement, disability inclusiveness, child protection, disaster risk reduction and emergency response.

Following a successful tender process, this month Sustainable Skills signed a contract with Coffey International Development to deliver a ‘Head of School’ Skills Development Program for the Fijian Government, Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA). The program is funded by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Fiji Program Support Facility (FPSF) managed by Coffey.

Source: Research into the Financing of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Pacific

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From the Desk of the CEO – November 2018 Newsletter Address

We are pleased to announce that following a successful tender process, this month Sustainable Skills signed a contract with Coffey International Development to deliver a ‘Head of School’ Skills Development Program for the Fijian Government, Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA). The program is funded by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Fiji Program Support Facility (FPSF) managed by Coffey.

Established to administer the education, health and scholarship programs in Fiji, the FPSF aid program supports the integration of crosscutting themes into programs, such as gender equality, civil society engagement, disability inclusiveness, child protection, and disaster risk reduction.

A review of selection processes for head of school positions in the Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA) had highlighted the need for a learning and development program covering the changing and higher level skills and abilities needed to lead and manage schools in to the future. As part of succession planning in the MEHA, the program will ensure that a pool of talent is developed, who can then successfully undertake the role of school head.

The vision is to develop leadership in schools which is dynamic and works effectively in a complex, changing environment, with the purpose of developing the skills and abilities of current and future school heads to provide excellent leadership and management for all schools.

The Sustainable Skills team in charge of delivering the project comprises Mike Prime, Team Leader, Cate van der Vossen, Assessment and Adult Education Specialist, and Maria Doyle, Online Learning Specialist. The three experts have been deployed to Suva, Fiji to kick-off the project which will be delivered over approximately six and a half months from November 2018 to May 2019.  The team will spend part of their time on site in Fiji consulting with stakeholders and part of their time working remotely from other locations.

The Project Team will use Moodle technology to create an online learning environment with ten modules that will be accessible to all interested learners. Moodle is an open-source learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments.

The successful tender was managed and submitted by Lee Jackson, Director of International Development for Sustainable Skills. Our organisation has nearly twenty years’ experience shaping and maintaining TVET systems and frameworks in Australia and around the world, as well as assisting Governments with the implementation of successful TVET system based on Australia best practice. Sustainable Skills has the ability to mobilise highly skilled and well-suited local and international consultants able to take key principles of the Australian VET system, understand the local culture and develop solutions. We are excited to deliver this important project that will enhance the future leadership of schools, and contribute to the quality of education offered to school students in Fiji.

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From the Desk of the CEO – October 2018 Newsletter Address

It’s been 2 years since the SkillsDMC Board determined to remodel SkillsDMC into Sustainable Skills a not for profit international consultancy that develops, supports and assists effective technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems worldwide.

During the past two years we have been developing projects and exploring opportunities in several countries. Our focus has been in Indonesia, whilst also exploring opportunities in Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Our approach has been to work with Governments, take key principles of the Australian VET system, understand the local culture and develop solutions.

Since entering the Indonesian market two years ago we found a country with a strong desire to improve its VET system that has a high degree of alignment with industry demand and a practical design that supports the needs of low-income communities.

President Joko Widodo adopted a strategy in 2016 that placed political priority on a highly ambitious infrastructure program that would establish reliable industrial scale electricity across the archipelago, creating reliable transport networks and promoting a series of large-scale tourism destinations. Skills are a major constraint on Indonesia’s ability to grow the economy and bring people out of poverty.

This creates a huge opportunity for Indonesia to build skills. These jobs require world standard competencies and a training system that will deliver world standard skills, otherwise more foreigners will be required.

Working with the Indonesian Government we are developing TVET capacity building projects to seize this opportunity including a new national TVET Centre of Excellence which will develop Indonesia’s TVET system the Indonesian way, the establishment of an Australian led Indonesian managed training centre and a capacity building project to build the skills needed to establish 35 GW of energy across the archipelago. The Indonesian Government estimates the construction and operating of this system will create 1 million jobs.

This creates a huge opportunity for Indonesia to build skills and bring more people out of poverty.
Australia has an opportunity, in Indonesia, to not only attract foreign students but to also develop offshore opportunities and extend the value of our education capabilities and expertise.

This requires the development of new solutions. Indonesia needs direct help to not only reform the VET system but also to develop the soft skills needed to implement reform.

Opportunities are not straight forward, and no one would advocate a rush of investments in Australian-styled institutions in environments with very different economic and social drivers, not to mention much lower incomes. But the risks can be managed and the scale requirements beyond the initial capacity-building are manageable.

Sustainable Skills has developed several very interesting opportunities that we will continue to explore and develop. Each requires a local focus and strong guidance from experienced Australian specialists. This will take time, but we are confident that strong results will emerge from the application of that Australian expertise.

Watch Sustainable Skills video presentation

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Building tomorrow’s digital skills – UNESCO-UNEVOC Publication

Building tomorrow’s digital skills  – What conclusions can we draw from international comparative indicators?

Recently produced by the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems in UNESCO’s Education Sector, this report  looks at the conditions impacting the development of digital skills based on five international comparative surveys, the results of which reveal a sample group of twelve countries whose population have particularly high levels of digital skills. This paper is part of the Working Papers on Education Policy series designed to nurture the international debate about a wide range of education policy issues.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),  56% of adults worldwide lack digital skills. The report shows that to achieve the best conditions for the development of digital skills, public authorities must pursue efforts in two areas: policies that create a supportive framework, and sectoral policies for basic and further training.

What are digital skills

According to the authors, the phrase “digital skills” denotes a wide range of skills, some of which relate more to behavior, expertise, know-how and life skills and are complementary and closely interconnected. Since the concept of digital skills is still evolving, those skills must be not only acquired but also constantly adapted and updated.

Digital Literacy include:

  • Photo-visual literacy – Understanding visual representations
  • Reproduction literacy – Creative re-use of information
  • Information literacy – Evaluation of information
  • Branching literacy – Ability to understand hypermedia and non-linear thinking
  • Socio-emotional literacy – Behavior in cyber space

Leading Countries

Based of the analysis of five comparative studies which reveal factors underlying the development of digital skills, the report identifies good practices on the basis of certain countries’ experiences.

Singapore, Czechia, Republic of Korea, Australia, Norway, Hong Kong and Ireland are considered leading countries in digital skills of children, whilst Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg and Finland are leaders in developing digital skills of adults.

Key findings

Among children, four main key points can be drawn from the studies:

  • Early acquaintance of students with technological devices is associated with better digital skills.
  • Equipping schools and homes with technological devices is not enough to foster digital skill. What matters is the use that is made of them.
  • Diversification of online activities is associated with better digital skills. Encouraging children to diversify their online activities can help improve their digital skills.
  • The use of ICT by teachers has a positive effect on pupils’ digital skills, especially when this approach is applied across all subjects, and not restricted to computing classes. Teacher training in ICT is therefore crucial.

With regard to adult skills, digital skills are closely linked to socioeconomic factors, specifically educational attainment. This may indicate that the highest-performing countries in terms of digital skills are those with the least educational inequality. Improved access to further education among adults is crucial to promoting the development of digital skills.

To create the best conditions for the development of digital skills, two types of public policy must be taken into account: policies that create a supportive framework, and sectoral policies for basic and further training.

Non-sectoral policies should focus on three areas to create an enabling environment:

  • Technological infrastructure, through investments aimed at providing quality high-speed Internet access,
    reducing access costs, connecting populations in remote regions, switching from 2G to 3G and 4G, etc.
  • Digitization of businesses, by providing a framework and incentives for businesses to adopt new technologies and update their working practices by integrating digital technologies.
  • The development of online content (locally relevant content, content in local languages, etc.) to create a
    virtuous circle in which enhanced content is both a driver and a consequence of digital skills.

Click here to download the publication .

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International Literacy Day 2018 – ‘Literacy and Skills Development’

International Literacy Day 2018 – ‘Literacy and Skills Development’

In 1966, UNESCO proclaimed 8 September as International Literacy Day (ILD) to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. As outlined by UNESCO, literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.

Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Whilst the data show remarkable improvement among youth in terms of reading and writing skills and a steady reduction in gender gaps,  750 million adults in the world remain illiterate. Of this, 49% are from Southern Asia, 27% live in sub-Saharan Africa, 10% in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, 9% in Northern Africa and Western Asia, and about 4% in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This year’s theme of ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ focused on youth and adults within the lifelong learning framework. Integrated approaches to literacy and skills development throughout life allows people to access resources that open doors to decent work opportunities and improved lives.

This interesting video published by UNESCO for ILD 2018 illustrates the general situation of literacy in the world and explains how the integration between literacy and skills development could lead to a more equitable and inclusive society.

Source: UNESCO – International Literacy Day 2018

Foundation Skills Resources

We would like to share two resources available on our website focused on how to develop the language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills required in the workplace.

  • Resource Diggin’ in!

Addressing language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) in the Resources and Infrastructure Industry.

This free resource, funded through the Workplace English, Language and Literacy (WELL) program, is a guide for teachers, trainers and assessors who deliver training from the Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package. It focuses on how to develop the language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills required for work in the Coal Mining, Metalliferous Mining, Drilling, Quarrying and Civil Construction Industry sectors.

The resource provides practical advice and tools to assist trainers to develop core LLN skills that are integral to technical skill development in the Resources and Infrastructure Industry.

Download the Diggin’ In Resource (Free)

  • Foundation Skills Assessment Kit

This kit of assessment tasks has been developed to pre-assess the foundations skills of workers who will undertake training in the Resources and Infrastructure Industry. The tasks are intended to be used on a one-to-one basis to identify whether candidates have the foundation skills required to participate in a particular training program, and if not, to determine the support that can be provided. The assessment tasks align with Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF).

Buy the Foundation Skills Assessment Kit ($35.00)

 

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From the Desk of the CEO – September 2018 Newsletter Address

Sustainable Skills CEO, Nigel Carpenter, delivering a speech at the 5th UPI International Conference on TVET in Bandung, Indonesia – September 2018.

On 11-12 September, I travelled to Bandung to attend the 5th Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) International Conference on TVET. Focused on “Globalization, challenges, and disruptions in TVET”, the conference aimed to discuss key challenges and adaptation strategy to changes on technical and vocational education practices in the region and beyond. I was invited to deliver a speech on how Indonesia can develop a new Centre of Excellence which will improve their national TVET system the Indonesian way.

The Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education (MORTHE) is embarking on a technical, vocational education and training reform plan with a view to establishing a new national Centre of Excellence at UPI.

UPI, supported by the Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education and the Asian Development Bank intends building a new TVET Centre of Excellence and wants to apply the learnings from countries such as Germany or Australia. We have helped develop the Ministry’s reform plan including the CoE which will allow Indonesia to reform the TVET system the Indonesia way.

Key objectives of the CoE are

  • Drive Indonesia’s TVET reform agenda
  • Industry led competency-based training system
  • Quality training and assessment
  • Teacher professional development
  • Continuous improvement

 

 

Sustainable Skills Chairman, Michael Gill, delivering a speech at Africa Down Under in Perth – August 2018.

At the end of August, our Chairman, Michael Gill, travelled to Perth to attend Africa Down Under. Now in its 16th year, the Africa Down Under Conference (ADU) is the largest African mining-focused event outside of the continent itself and provides a platform for stakeholders eager to get in on the ground floor of the next African resources boom. Michael built on existing relationships and continued our focus on helping to build industry engaged TVET systems in developing countries.

Our Director, International Development Services, Luke Behncke, finished his contract with us to pursue a new professional project with his family. I would like to thank Luke for his wonderful contribution to Sustainable Skills over the last year and wish him all the very best for the future. We are thrilled to announce that Lee Jackson stepped in Luke’s former role as the new Director, International Development Services. Lee is an expert in TVET who has previously worked with Sustainable Skills on a consultancy basis and with SkillsDMC as Regional Manager for the WA office. I am glad to welcome Lee to the team in this new capacity and I am sure he will be a valuable asset to our organisation.

 

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From the Desk of the CEO – August 2018 Newsletter Address

This month I met Ms Nguy Thi Khanh, Executive Director of Vietnam’s Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) at the Vietnam Renewable Energy Week being held in Hanoi.  Ms Khanh was a winner of the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize – the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists. GreenID, a not for profit, works to achieve fundamental change in the approach to sustainable development by promoting the transition to a sustainable energy system, good environmental governance and inclusive decision processes. Sustainable Skills, having started exploring opportunities in Vietnam, is developing plans with GreenID to build the skills of the renewable energy sector.

Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s President and Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister are meeting in Jakarta this Friday to conclude the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IA-CEPA) which will create the framework for a new era of closer economic engagement between Australia and Indonesia and open new markets and opportunities for businesses, primary producers, service providers and investors. I’m currently in Jakarta and will be attending events associated with the signing. Australian Universities are expected to get the green light to start setting up campuses in Indonesia under the agreement.

The agreement will also provide opportunities to help improve the TVET capacity of Indonesia. The Australian TVET model, with its well-established industry-based competencies and modular course design, is very often the preferred choice for both qualitative and pragmatic reasons.

Sustainable Skills approach has been to work with Indonesian Ministries that have developed plans to reform VET, take key principles of the Australian VET system, understand the local culture and develop solutions.

The IA-CEPA has enabled a much improved understanding of how Indonesia’s workforce skills opportunity is central to Indonesia’s social and economic development.  Australian experience in delivering industry-based training can help Indonesia to deliver job-ready trained workers. Sustainable Skills Ltd. welcomes the significant opportunity IA-CEPA opens for world-class Australian training providers to contribute to skilling the Indonesian workforce into the future.

 

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The Australian TVET Experience

Technical Vocational Education and Training Models in the World: The Australian VET System

Vocational Education and Training systems are developed by each country based on specific cultural, social, and economic scenarios. However, policy makers are often keen to examine and adopt TVET models developed by other countries and recognised as international best practice due to their positive outcomes.

The Australia’s competency based TVET system is highly recognised worldwide largely due to its strong focus on industry demand, skills application, and to its scalability and flexibility. Currently, in Australia there are 4.2 million TVET students attending 4,200 Registered Training Organisations that include 58 public providers – TAFEs, compared to 3.8 million school students in 9,400 schools, and 1 million University students in 43 universities. TVET students represent 24% of the Australian population between 15-64 years. Of this, 17% are 19 years or under, 57% 20-44 years and 24% over 45 years.

Brief History

  • 1960-70s: a significant reform of the system started, aimed to establish a national VET system and nationally funded Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Colleges
  • 1980-90s: the fundamental reforms to the sector occurred with the introduction of  industry-led national qualifications
  • 2000s-present: reform effort has focused on greater integration of industry engagement, national regulation and ‘demand-driven’ funding models.

Characteristics of the current formal VET system

  • Certificate I (approximately 6 months) and Certificate II (approximately 1 year)

Certificate I&II are preparatory/pre-vocational qualifications for schools, and school based apprenticeships, offered at the lower secondary level by Registered Training Organisations, TAFE institutes, schools, and community education providers. Graduates from Certificate I and Certificate II courses are able to proceed to vocational education and training at higher certificate levels. Certificate II is the entry-level qualification for some occupations.

  • Certificate III & IV qualifications – (approximately 1-4 years)

Certificate III&IV are offered at the upper secondary level by Registered Training Organisations, TAFE institutes, schools, community education providers, enterprise providers and some dual-sector universities. Certificate IV qualifications typically provide training for ‘advanced trade occupations’ or supervisory roles in the workplace.

Apprenticeship is the collective term for traineeships and apprenticeships that are ways to become trained and qualified in a trade or particular type of job. Most apprenticeships are aligned with a Certificate III qualification. Apprenticeships and traineeships can be full-time, part-time or school-based through a legal agreement with an employer called a training contract, which lasts until training is completed and competence achieved. All apprenticeships / traineeships combine learning with paid employment. Based on data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), in 2017 there were 275,000 of TVET students undertaking an apprenticeship with a decrease of 3.7% from 2016. This equates to 2.3% of Australian workers who are employed as an apprentice or trainee.

  • Advanced Skills and Higher Education articulation – Diploma (1-2 years), Advanced Diploma (2-3 years), Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma (6-24 months)

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, and Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are offered at the tertiary level by Registered Training Organisations, TAFE institutes, and enterprise providers.

These qualifications provide for occupations requiring advanced skills, supervisory or management roles or as pathways into Higher Education degrees.

The TVET system also provides post –school training in foundational skills such as literacy, and numeracy.

What are the key features of the Australian TVET System

  • ‘Fit for purpose’ qualifications

A key strength of the Australian TVET system is the existence of qualifications that meet industry’s needs (employment skills match) and individuals’ needs (portable skills to move across the labour market and support life long learning). Qualifications ensure opportunities for students to engage and progress in TVET via multiple entry and exit points (‘flexible articulation’) learning pathways.

  • Industry Engagement

Industry is involved at every step of the process including qualification development and implementation (training), as well as contributing to the development of government policy.

  • Quality training market

Public funding incentivises TVET responsiveness to industry and individuals and ensures government optimises its return on investment (‘value for money’). The system involves ‘In-built’ continuous improvement processes to push quality standards in teaching and student-centered learning.

  • Effective regulation

Effective regulation is in place to allow maximum responsiveness (adaptability and competitiveness) while minimising market failures and student risk.

The shared responsibility

Shared responsibility is key to a successful and efficient Vocational Education and Training system able to involve all actors such as government, industry, training organisations, civil society, communities, and students. In this context, roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder need to be clearly defined.

  • Government 

Government’s role consists in promoting research, establishing policy, release regulation and accreditation, plan and manage funding.

  • The National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) is responsible for research and policy establishment, the COAG Industry and Skills Council and its sub-committee, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) establishes national policy, and state governments align local policy with national directions.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC)and theAustralian Skills and Quality Authority (ASQA) accredit qualifications,  ASQA regulates Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), while States regulate apprenticeships.

• Government, the Skilling Australians Fund, and state governments provide publicly funded training, which currently account for approximately AUD$5-6 billion per annum.

  • Industry/Business

Industry is one of the key stakeholders in the Australian Vocational Education and Training systems, also defined as industry-led VET model. Industry is engaged in consultation about policy development, in training and assessment by RTO, as well as in providing private funding (estimated AUD$5 billion per annum) for accredited and non-accredited training, such as ‘in-house’ enterprise training. AISC’s 64 Industry Reference Committees (constituted of employer/employee organizations, industry regulators, and experts) are key stakeholders consulted in national qualification and government policy development.

  • Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)

RTOs are in charge of conducting training and assessment of students against national standards and regulation, and accredited qualifications, ensuring that training meets local industry needs and is customized to the student particularly in apprenticeship training, as well as issuing qualifications to students against the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Sustainable Skills has  nearly twenty years’ experience shaping and maintaining TVET systems and frameworks in Australia and around the world, and can assist Governments with the implementation of successful TVET system based on Australia best practice. Contact us for further information about how Sustainable Skills can deliver positive outcomes for your organisation, or to discuss how we can partner in TVET projects.

 

 

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