Advanced apprenticeships will boost skills for future jobs, but not in time to counter COVID impacts

Advanced apprenticeships will boost skills for future jobs, but not in time to counter COVID impacts

The Australian government has released a series of manufacturing industry policies in the lead-up to the October 6 budget. Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke about a A$1.5 billion strategy to strengthen Australian manufacturing and supply chains. Last week, Education Minister Dan Tehan announced a A$7.2 million extension of advanced apprenticeship pilot programs across the country to teach students the high-level, specialist knowledge and skills they’ll need for industry jobs of the future.


Apprentice funding round introduces 30 new qualifications 

Apprentice funding round introduces 30 new qualifications 

The government has opened a new round of funding for registered training organisations to reduce education costs. Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the Apprentice and Trainee Training Fund (User Choice) was designed to create a pipeline of skilled workers at a time when it was needed most and while Tasmanians were looking for new jobs.

Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent

Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent

The SRTOs 2015 require trainers and assessors to have vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and assessed as referred to in Clause 1.13 b. Vocational competency means trainers have the particular skills and knowledge relevant to the industry area in which they are delivering. Training Packages may also stipulate specific vocational competency requirements for trainers and assessors. This can include relevant industry qualifications and/or industry experience. RTOs need to ensure these requirements are evidenced and appropriate records are maintained that demonstrate staff are vocationally competent both at the qualification and unit of competency level.

They hold the exact units of competency being delivered:

If your trainers and assessors hold the exact units of competency that they are delivering then that is sufficient evidence to demonstrate vocational competency (so long as they also have relevant industry experience). Additionally, some training packages or qualifications have specific requirements for assessors to hold vocational credentials so RTOs need to ensure that these requirements are identified and evidenced appropriately. For example, to deliver commercial cookery units from the SIT training package assessors must hold a Certificate III or Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery. Another example is trainers and assessors who deliver TAE qualifications must hold either the Diploma of Vocational Education and Training or the Diploma of Training Design and Development or a higher level qualification in adult education.

Demonstrating equivalence of competency:

RTOs need to provide a documented analysis e.g. mapping  that demonstrates equivalence of superseded units held and/or other credentials held and/or work history (industry knowledge and skills) for trainers and assessors. This mapping should be at a minimum to the element level of each unit of competency being delivered. You need to ensure that supporting documentation that evidences credentials held and verifies claims of work history such as statements of services or references is also provided. Copies of vocational qualifications must be authenticated with the issuing organisation and records of verification retained on file.

Work history: 

Some training packages and / or units of competency have specific requirements regarding years of industry experience that assessors must have to deliver. These requirements must be evidenced in the trainers file for the training products they train and assess. If your trainer and assessor holds a vocational qualification without having relevant industry experience they will not be viewed as being credible and this can impact on student and industry outcomes for your RTO.  It is important that in addition to adhering to the training package requirements that you also seek industry feedback regarding what they view as the appropriate vocational qualifications and experience for your trainers and assessors as required in Clauses 1.5 & 1.6.  

Occupational licences and accreditation: 

For qualifications or units of competency with specific licensing or industry accreditation outcomes it may be a requirement that trainers and assessors hold a licence, ticket, professional body credential or registration relevant to the vocational area they are training and assessing. In this case it is important that RTOs ensure records of these credentials are regularly maintained and up to date in each file as they typically have expiry dates.

Other feature articles:

Five essential tips for evidencing trainer’s vocational currency

Four point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

Five questions you should ask before engaging contract trainers and assessors

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes


Opportunity awaits Australia’s VET sector in China 

Opportunity awaits Australia's VET sector in China
China will need international partners to design and deliver vocational education and training. Australia’s VET sector is highly developed and Australian colleges are well regarded in China. There are opportunities to deliver courses in-country or as a pathway to study in Australia.  

91% of the VET sector’s international students are currently onshore 

91% of the VET sector’s international students are currently onshore
COVID-19 has not stopped international education. As of August 24, 524,000 international students were living among us in Australian cities and communities. They represent 78% of all student visa holders, according to data the Department of Home Affairs provided to us.

Read more here:  

Governments prioritizing “job training” over higher education

Governments prioritizing "job training" over higher education

The basic structure of the common good involves meeting human needs for water, sanitation, power, transport, health and access to the law. Such activities require training, and there is an obvious public interest in providing it. But reducing education to job training is not only a partial or limited view. It is sinister.