What does the National Skills Agreement mean for ECEC educators?
Last week the First Ministers of states and territories endorsed a new National Skills Agreement that will see substantial funding channeled to reform and improve vocational training and skills development across Australia.
The primary focus of this initiative is TAFE, which will remain the cornerstone of vocational training, including for the early childhood education and care sector.
But how will current educators looking to add to their qualifications, or prospective educators looking to train, be impacted by these changes?
This article aims to provide a high level summary of the key measures and how they are likely to support the ECEC workforce to grow and upskill.
Key Measure – Establish a network of TAFE Centres of Excellence
TAFE Centres of Excellence will be new learning institutions that through formal partnerships with universities and sectors, will deliver a new, and refreshed, level of training in strategically important industries.
Although it is unclear exactly what courses will be delivered in these new Centres of Excellence, the ECEC sector has been identified as a critical focus for the Government so it is expected that courses for current, and prospective, educators will be provided.
Key Measure – Establish a National TAFE leadership Network
It is currently understood that there is scope to enhance the current teaching and learning capabilities of TAFE and this measure is designed to use network effects via promoting communities of practice and other initiatives to spur improvements.
Educators will definitely benefit from the creation of more integrated professional teaching networks via higher quality training, the introduction of innovative teaching and learning practices and a pooling of knowledge and best practice which will be available in their courses.
Key Measure – Improve VET completions including women
It is not uncommon for educators to commence a new qualification but not actually complete it. There are many reasons for this including not having enough time, being too busy at work, managing family commitments, not being able to afford it, not having the support to complete it and more.
This measure is looking to introduce approaches to helping more students to successfully complete their studies and although the approaches havent been shared yet could be very helpful to ECEC educators.
Key Measure – To improve foundation skills training capacity, quality and accessibility
This measure is important because it recognises that some of the barriers to completing a vocational qualification may be foundational ie: due to literacy or numeracy reasons.
This particularly rings true for the ECEC sector as many migrants moving to Australia from other countries may not have a strong grasp of English which makes it difficult for them to be successful at the qualifications.
This program will help in this area.
Overall, the efforts of the Australian and state and territory governments in the National Skills Agreement will have a positive impact on the ECEC sector. When combined with the First Ministers commitment to continue to deliver fee-free TAFE in 2024 the barriers to training to be an educator, or upskilling as an educator continue to fall.
Where are we in the ECEC wage increase negotiations process? - An Update
by Jason Roberts
Story House leverages two new innovative solutions to bring wellbeing and safety benefits to staff
by Freya Lucas
Confused about staffing rules over the holiday period?
by Freya Lucas