One of our feature articles this month is about the necessity of being able to navigate chaos as one of the most highly sought-after skills of the 21st century, and I’m sure many of you will agree with me it’s starting to become second nature for Australian private tertiary education providers!
Late April saw a surprise announcement from the Federal Government on employer-sponsored visa changes, and there has been considerable industry discussion on the potential impacts to Australia as an attractive study destination for international enrolments as a result of these (as yet unpassed) changes. To allay concerns, Federal Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, emphatically stated on Twitter:
And the Australian Government responded by announcing a $300m training fund to bolster skills for young Australians and redeployed workers, amid fears the Federal Government’s changes to the 457 migration visa changes will further exacerbate the nation’s skills shortage.
In a counter-piece, Rod Camm of ACPET took a moment to reflect on the outstanding performance of Higher Education providers – with 81% of employers expressing satisfaction with VET graduates’ training in the 2016 Employer Satisfaction Survey (ESS). Vocational education is viewed as playing an important role in Higher Education, providing students with real options towards a pathway to success in life that works for them best.
Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia wrote in The Australian wrote about the inspiration she received by spending time with some aspirational young Australian tertiary students, who have just received the opportunity to rise above disadvantage through the Smith Family’s new cadetship initiative with the Business Council of Australia.
In a piece entitled ‘Education is Still Society’s Greatest Leveller’, Westacott claims “a vibrant, educated population will be our greatest asset as we move to ensure Australia’s path to prosperity” and that this path very much includes vocational education to help propel young people into a rewarding and meaningful working life.
“Academic excellence may have been the pinnacle of achievement in the 20th century, but we now need to recognise that intelligence, and with it employability, comes in many forms — academic, practical, creative and emotional. We need to nurture them equally and recognise that success is not limited to people with academic intelligence. Just as important, we need to recognise that workers of the future will need to have a level of competence in all four domains.”
For the past month, our focus has been on connecting and reconnecting with industry colleagues who are as passionate and committed to vocational education excellence as we are. And we’re pleased to say, it has confirmed our vigorous support for our industry leaders of the future.
Congratulations are in order for our colleagues at the Higher Education Leadership Institute (HELI), who have launched their first online Professional Development course for tertiary educators aimed at understanding the online teaching and learning environment. The 10-week ONLINE ACADEMIC PRACTICE course commences Monday 15 May, and includes topics on transitioning from F2F teaching to a digital campus, managing online student cohorts, and developing best-practice online delivery models for education enterprises.
It was also a real breath of fresh air to meet with Marcus Sellen recently in Melbourne, a successful fellow RTO operator who has taken the plunge to establish his own consultant advisory firm, Marcus Sellen & Associates. Following an established career owning and managing a series of high profile and well-respected registered training organisations in Victoria, Marcus is well-placed to assist fellow industry members scale their businesses towards sustainable growth and operational success. With a commitment to high-quality vocational education and training, and with a fantastic team of expert RTO consultants on board, we are sure he will do well and we wish him and his team all the best
Judith Bowler, Educational Strategist & Founder