Apprenticeship decline prediction dire for skill shortages

Apprenticeship decline prediction dire for skill shortages

Business NSW, which represents more than 25,000 businesses, will on Thursday release a report which shows the impact of COVID-19 on skills training will be worse than previously expected.   Up to 40 per cent of apprentices could lose their jobs by the end of this year without an economic recovery and an extension of employer subsidies, including JobKeeper payments.
Read more here:  https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/54-000-fewer-apprenticeships-to-start-this-year-threatening-longer-term-skills-shortages-20200707-p559ry.html

Feature Article: Four ways to ensure your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

Implementing robust quality assurance measures focused on compliant assessment practices will result in increasing the quality of assessment and ultimately student and industry outcomes for your RTO.

Validation of assessor judgements:

All RTO’s must undertake validation of assessment practices and judgements to comply with Clause 1.9 – 1.11 of the SRTOs 2015. ASQA’s defines validation as the quality review of the assessment process. Therefore, it is conducted after assessment has been completed. Validation involves checking that the assessment tool/s produce/s valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the training package or VET accredited courses are met. It includes reviewing a statistically valid sample of the assessments and making recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and/or outcomes and acting upon such recommendations. According to ASQA validation helps ensure that your RTO’s training and assessment practices are relevant to the needs of industry.

In validating a qualification on scope, RTO’s are required to validate the assessment practices and judgements from a sample of the units of competency within that qualification. At least two units of competency should be sampled when validating a qualification as suggested by ASQA. You may expand the number of units to validate at any time during the validation process, particularly when validation outcomes indicate that assessment judgments are not valid.

Moderation

Moderation is a quality control process aimed at bringing assessment judgements into alignment as defined by ASQA. Moderation is generally conducted before the finalisation of student results as it ensures the same decisions are applied to all assessment results within the same unit of competency. Your may consider implementing a process within your RTO of moderating all assessments conducted for high risk delivery areas such as programs delivered by third parties for example.

Student file audits:

Another way to ensure assessors are being consistent in their assessment practices is to implement routine student file audits to compliment validation activities and target courses of on-going concern or high risk. The focus of these audits should be on common issues or known areas of concern such as:

  • Ensuring assessors use correct and approved versions of assessment tools 
  • Verifying that all assessment tasks have been completed by learners
  • Confirming that assessors are keeping accurate and complete student records
  • Checking that your assessors are marking in line with benchmark answers and marking guides and issuing correct results

Systematic and planned checks of completed student assessments is an effective method in monitoring your RTO’s continuing compliance with the SRTOs 2015

Targeted training and development for assessors: 

The outcomes of your validation, moderation and student file audits should provide reliable data and a good indication of systemic issues relating to your assessors practices. From those findings you can determine what professional development needs those assessors may have and develop a targeted approach to providing suitable training and development to build their capacity. For example, your RPL assessors may need some additional coaching or mentoring in RPL processes, collection of sufficient RPL evidence and recording their judgements appropriately.

References: 

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019C00503

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/conducting-validation

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment

Apprentices out of work due to pandemic

Apprentices out of work due to pandemic
In a crisis as less experienced members of the workforce, apprentices often are the first to go, and if past history is a guide, the last to be re-hired. According to WPC Group general manager Andrew Sezonov, the number of apprentices let go recently are at levels he has never seen in his 24 years in this industry.”

Falling apprentice numbers concerning for industry

Falling apprentice numbers concerning for industry
Falling apprentice numbers concerning for industry

Despite the government’s relief package with its 50 percent contribution some small business employers can not afford to retain an apprentice in this current crisis. The $1500 a fortnight JobKeeper payment has not yet kicked in for many employers since most had not yet hit the trigger point of a 30 percent fall in turnover.

Retention of apprentices critical during COVID-19 pandemic

Retention of apprentices critical during COVID-19 pandemic
Ron Maxwell, VERTO CEO is urging employers to consider the importance of retaining apprentices.
The Morrison Government has committed to the future of our apprentices with their stimulus package, announcing wage subsidies and financial support that will help around 70,000 businesses to retain 117,000 apprentices. The impacts of COVID-19 has impacted on many trades where a large proportion of the operators are small businesses, many have seen a significant downturn. These small businesses play an important role in developing the next generation and ensuring a strong future for their industries and the communities in which they live and work.

Apprentice decline due to COVID-19

An estimated 3300 apprentices have lost their jobs nationally due to businesses being forced to lay them off as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The result of this drop will be a generation of young people struggling to get a foot in the workforce  and worsening skills shortages as industry struggles to find qualified workers in the future.

Morrison Government to subsidise apprentice wages for small business

Morrison Government to subsidise apprentice wages for small business

Almost 120,000 apprentices will get half their wages paid for in the first part of the Morrison government’s stimulus package to push the economy along as the impact of the coronavirus bites. The $1.3 billion plan will cover half the wages of 117,000 apprentices working for businesses with fewer than 20 employees, for nine months until September this year.

Read more here: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/stimulus-package-to-pay-half-the-wages-of-120-000-apprentices-20200311-p54965.html