Courses now easier to find for ECEC workers thanks to online microcredentials market
The Australian Government will provide $4.3 million to build and run a “one stop shop” for microcredentials (mini-qualifications that demonstrate skills, knowledge, and/or experience in a given subject area or capability) to help students to identify educational opportunities.
In an early childhood education and care (ECEC) context, TAFE NSW, for example, offers the Managing an ECEC Service microcredential which gives students an introduction to the management and operations of ECEC sites, covering legal requirements as well as theories and practice.
A student who completed the 12 week course would not only increase their understanding of a management role, but also be eligible for advanced standing (sometimes known as credit) in a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (birth to 5).
The recent announcement of additional funding builds on the Government’s microcredential initiative announced as part of its Higher Education Relief Package over Easter. Since the announcement, 54 providers have created 344 short online courses in areas of skills shortage, including ECEC.
As a result of the creation of the “one stop shop” there will be a nationally consistent platform to compare course outcomes, duration, mode of delivery and credit point value.
Australia’s Minister for Education Dan Tehan praised the role that microcredentials play in offering Australians the opportunity to learn new skills to help make them become more job-ready.
“Microcredentials address the most common barriers cited by adult workers who are not intending to undertake further formal training or study: time and cost,” Mr Tehan said, outlining that the creation of the new site will give those same workers, as well as those seeking employment, a platform via which they can gain access to further study to help them get a new job or to get ahead in their current job.
“The uptake of microcredentials will support our Government’s plan to give Australians the skills they need to be job-ready,” Mr Tehan said, saying that an educated and highly-skilled workforce “will be essential to help power Australia’s post-COVID-19 recovery”.
Mr Tehan’s statement was supported by Federal Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash who said Commonwealth, state and territory Skills Ministers have committed to fast-tracking consideration of microcredentials in the VET system during 2020.
“The marketplace will provide consistency that gives students and businesses the assurance they need to invest in this new mode of education,” she added.