“Does technology have a role in improving workforce capability?”

 I am currently reading research papers that discuss VET issues, its role and purpose.  At the same time I am considering the answer to the question “Does technology have a role in improving workforce capability?”

VET is a major driver for economic prosperity in Australia and I am wondering what is required by the VET workforce to meet this expectation.  I am also wondering what, if any VET’s issues can be overcome through training.   To answer this question one must first have some sort of understanding of the issues currently affecting VET.

Some of the issues are:

  • Changes to VET funding models: there is a real push for funding to be based on outcomes and course completions
  • Bureaucracy within the VET sector, especially in the structure of larger, public providers… does this have an impact?
  • Poorly designed funding models
  • Poor response times from training providers.  VET needs to be flexible enough to respond to changing market needs at the time those needs are required to be addressed.
  • VET practitioner’s are ageing, how do we capture their knowledge and skills? Should this be included in succession planning?
  • Should there  be increased consideration of financial barriers that prevent those who need training from entering the VET sector?
  • What is the role of the National VET regulator and how much funding will it require to achieve the expected outcomes

So what are the VET issues where can training help (well maybe, read on):

  • Quality teaching and the isssue of the CIV being the minimum teaching level.  We can offer training to increase the number of practitioners with the qualification, however the debate needs to continue…. Is the CIV an acceptable and appropriate minimum qualification for VET practitioners?  Given that many of these practitioners are dually qualified should we require higher than the CIV?  How much emphasis should be attributed to the educational qualifications of VET practitioners?
  • VET researchers suggest that some larger public providers are still approaching the professional development of staff in an adhoc manner.  Shouldn’t professional development be driven by strategy?
  • More thought needs to be given to strategies that will attract and retain quality practitioners?  This comes back to funding and salary issues.
  • Australia is experiencing skill shortages in many areas.  This is no different in the VET sector.  Current skills shortages that exist include trainers with specialist skills in mining; aged care; language, literacy and numeracy; indigenous studies; and e-learning.
  • Some VET managers do not necessarily have leadership or management experience.  Many have moved into their business role from teaching positions.  This is certainly an area that can be improved through training. 

My key thought now is ‘Does technology have a role to play in skills development of VET practitioners, management and leadership training for managers and possibly even the skill shortages in specialist  areas in VET?’

Can technology play a role in providing knowledge  to VET practitioners who require about their industry?  The use of technology in training is only one way to contribute to the development of the workforce capability of the VET sector.

There are other roles technology can play, such as pushing out information about VET issues and VET changes.  For example:

  • knowledge practitioners require about their industry
  • changes to AQTF
  • changes to training packages
  • legislative changes such as OHS and child protection

What role do you see technology can play in the development of the VET workforce?

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