NSW seeks new vocational training options for school students – SMH

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Understanding why 47.5% of TAFE NSW students failed to complete their courses between 2001 and 2017 will be critical to any reform.

The increasingly intertwined pathways across secondary schools, vocational education providers, universities, government, industries and corporations will also require a different approach to complex systems thinking.

Confused students and parents will need better articulation of pathways to make the right decisions on future careers.

Lessons also need to be learnt to better support the concepts of lifelong learning and open education.

David Gonski and Professor Peter Shergold are leading a review of the NSW VET sector and its results were originally due in July though Covid paused it.



JobTrainer 2Bn investment

An additional $2Bn for training and re-skilling is certainly a welcome announcement by federal government as well the additional $500M from states. It does require states to sign up to much needed reform – but thats not such a bad thing in an overly complex vocational education sector.

A question remains on course completion rates – how will we encourage people to not just start courses but also successfully complete them. Where courses are completely digital that is less of an issue as production costs are a one off. But if they need online trainers or in location training that can become an expensive issue. So how do we equip learners with the knowledge to pick the right courses, ones they are likely to complete and also provide them viable skills of the future in in demand industries? There needs to be a carrot and not just a stick approach.

Perhaps processes such as those provided by Khan Academy for teachers to monitor progress of student classes gives us a clue on how this can be done at scale?

For professionals looking at short courses – subsidies to global providers such as Linkedin Learning, Udemy, Coursera, Edx, Pluralsight, SkillsShare and others – would be a valuable additional option to locally created short courses. A small monthly sum typically provides access to 1000’s of courses and for large cohorts of self-sufficient people, that’s probably all they really need.

An elephant remain firmly planted in the centre of the room. Training alone will never be enough as people need ultimately jobs. Waiting for industry alone to create jobs will simply take too long and a large pool of unemployed and underemployed already exists. A generation’s talent will be wasted unless more is done.

Coalition to commit $2bn for training if states agree to overhaul of vocational education – The Guardian